Cardiac patches on the market today can help patients who have damaged heart tissues as a result of a heart attack or cardiovascular disease, but they are inferior to natural heart tissue. They are often made of synthetic polymers such as PLA or organopolymers such as alginate, which help heart cells organize into functioning heart tissue, but they are unable to contract as strongly as the surrounding heart tissue.
Researchers have developed alginate tissue scaffolds with gold nanowires incorporated into the scaffold structure to help make cardiac patches contract stronger and more in sync with other heart tissue. These new patches allow the typically electrically resistant pore walls of the alginate to become better conductors of electrical signals. This allows for better electrical communication between the surrounding heart cells, creating better synchronicity in repaired hearts. Overall, this improves the therapeutic value of the heart patches, creating a better quality of life for patients who have suffered cardiac trauma.
- . Nanowired three-dimensional cardiac patches. Nature Nanotechnology. 2011 ;6(11):720 - 725.
These new tissue scaffolds increase the electrical conductivity between heart cells, increasing contraction strength, patch thickness, and improving the synchronicity of the heart cells in the patch.
This product is an enhancement on existing cardiac heart patches, improving the therapeutic value of cardiac patches.
Gold nanoparticles have been shown to accumulate in both white blood cells and renal cells in various studies undertaken on the topic. Not much is known about the potential cytotoxicity or nephrotoxicity of these nanoparticles, but they will likely be studied further. These initial results would suggest that the human health risks of gold nanowires are complex and uncertain.