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Biomaterials for Cardiac Regeneration
and Stem Cell Therapy

Friday, Jan 25, 2013
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Wyss Institute, Room 521, 3 Blackfan Circle, Boston, MA 02115


  • Michael Davis, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor
  • Georgia Tech
  • Emory University

Cardiac disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. There were an estimated 1.5 million cases of myocardial infarction (MI) in 2011. Following MI, there is a 40%-60% reduction in myocyte number in the myocardium with billions of myocytes being lost within the first several days. These myocytes are not replaced and this results in extensive inflammation and fibrosis, leading to loss of contractility. The only comprehensive cure for heart failure is cardiac transplantation, which is greatly limited by the number of available donor hearts. The Davis Group has developed a number of materials to aid the endogenous regenerative response, either by attenuating the damage with delivery of inhibitors or siRNA, or promoting regeneration with targeted delivery of growth factors such as insulin-like growth factor 1.  

By understanding the tissue- and cellular-level cues following MI, therapies can be targeted to the myocardium with both spatial and temporal control. In addition to the endogenous response, stem/progenitor cell therapy has shown modest improvement in clinical trials, but survival and differentiation of these cells in vivo can still be an obstacle for long-term benefits. By investigating how these cells respond to stressors present in the myocardium, researchers can create materials to control their fate and enhance their regenerative potential. The group has developed novel hydrogels that can present signals to implanted cells, gain temporal control over delivery of bioactive factors, and improve implanted cell function. 



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