By Will Soutter
A multi-disciplinary team from the Regenerative Medicine Institute at the National University of Ireland Galway together with researchers at Trinity College Dublin has developed a new technique based on the electrical properties of carbon nanotubes to create cells that enable the reproduction of cardiac cells.
The research team knew that carbon nanotubes respond to electrical stimulation. Hence, they utilized the nantoubes to develop cells with the features of cardiac progenitors using adult stem cells. Cardiac progenitors are a specific kind of cell present in the heart.
Dr. Valerie Barron, one of the researchers, stated that the nanotubes’ electrical properties activated a response in the mesenchymal stem cells taken from human bone marrow. As a result, they get electrified and morphed into cardiac-like cells. This innovative method offers a ready-source of customized cells that can be utilized as a new clinical therapy and paves the way for other electroactive tissue repair applications. It is also possible to exploit this symbiotic strategy for other clinically delegate areas like the spinal cord and brain.
Professor Werner Blau from Trinity College Dublin stated that pioneering nanocarbon research that has been conducted at the institute over the past two decades has finally yielded a fruitful solution to handle an important global health issue. This new technique may help several people from across the globe. The institute has patented some of its carbon nanotube research and has licensed them to global companies in health care, electronics and science.
The study results have appeared in the journals, Macromolecular Bioscience and Biomaterials.