Regrow Blood Vessels In Patients With Heart And Vascular Diseases
Scientist from the University of Texas discovered a new method which can regrow blood vessels in the heart and limbs which are affected by obstructive vascular diseases. This research is very important because heart diseases represent the leading cause of death world wide.
This method of treatment which has been successfully tested on rats, allow doctors to inject a lipidic substance into the damaged blood vessel, thus avoiding a surgical intervention. When this lipidic substance is inside the body can stimulate the vessel cells to grow, thus stimulating the growth of new blood vessel from the affected blood vessels.
“Others have tried using growth factors to stimulate vessel growth in clinical trials and have not been successful. We think that a major reason for this is that previous methods assumed that the diseased tissues retained the ability to respond to a growth stimulus. Our method basically delivers extra components that can restore growth factor responsiveness to the tissue of patients with long-standing clinical disease.”, said Baker, a faculty member in the school's Department of Biomedical Engineering.
The researchers created limbs ischemia in rats and then for a period of seven days the scientists injected a lipidic substance with a osmotic pump into the rats limbs. The results of doppler ultrasonography which were performed after a week of treatment showed a increased blood flow in the limbs.
Central ischemia affects the heart and appear when the heart vessels are narrowed or blocked by deposits of fat. This deposits of fat are caused by smoking, high blood pressure, unhealthy diet or diabetes.
Until now, ischemia was treated by introducing a stent in the obstructed vessel or directly by a surgical procedure which is redirecting the blood flow to the tissue. These methods are not effective for a long period of time and present some limitations. This new method which was discovered by the scientists from the University of Texas, combines a cellular growth factor ( a substance which is able to stimulate vascular cells to grow, to proliferate and to differentiate, like cells which are involved in the healing wounds) known as fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) with a lipidic receptor which can enhance its activity.
A important challenge for the scientists was to prevent the binding of FGF-2 with others cells receptors. To avoid this possibility, the researches embed FGF-2 in synthetic nano-particles with a lipidic base that contain a co-receptor known as syndecan-4. This combination of growth factor and co-receptor is able to direct the nano-particle direct to the affected cells and has the capacity to stimulate the cell differentiation and proliferation.
With this study, the researchers believe that in the future will have the opportunity to understand how tissues can become resistant to revascularization therapies and maybe they will discover a more effective treatment for vascular disorders.