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Development of a Bioengineered Heart Patch for the Treatment of Myocardial Infarction (Heart Patch)
Start date: Aug 1, 2012, End date: Jul 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), e.g. Myocardial Infarction (MI) and stroke, are the leading cause of death, accounting each year for more than 17.5 million people worldwide, 25% of which is in Europe. Cardiac bioengineering is a new research area to develop grafts and patches to replace or repair damaged heart tissue. However, a fully functional graft has not yet conceived. The main goal of this project is to develop bioengineered heart patches to induce regeneration of the tissue and restore heart functions after MI.Aims: the aims and the results hoped for are:1. To develop collagen-based nano-fibrous scaffolds that are:a. Biocompatible and biodegradable, e.g. favour cell growth, and allow regeneration of thehost tissue and remodel with the growing heart.b. Robust, elastic, and contractile that matches heart muscle.c. Conductive to electrical impulses generated by the heart.d. Porous enough to enable exchange of nutrients and waste from the patch.e. Non-thrombogenic to ensure the patch will not cause thrombosis.2. To significantly reinforce the biomedical research in Europe through efficient use of the allocated budget toward my integration into a more permanent position in Sweden, as well as enhancing knowledge transfer and cooperation between EU and Canada.Research Strategy: I have previously developed hybrid interpenetrating polymer networks (HIPN) as bioengineered corneas that were mimetic of the natural cornea and successfully implanted into corneas of pigs with seamless host-graft integration and regeneration of the host cornea. HIPN is a core concept that can be tailored for various tissue applications. I therefore propose to engineer HIPN scaffolds for cardiac patches mainly comprised of collagen, and carbon nanotubes. I joined Linkoping University in March 2011 as an Assistant Professor from Canada. My expertise in tissue engineering combined with expertise of the host in Nanobiotechnology is an excellent match for this project.

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