The regenerative power of stem cells

Research Updates

While treatments for arterial blockages have previously been very limited, our new stem cell research is demonstrating that it’s actually possible for the body to grow new blood vessels. Not only that, these blood vessels can substantially increase blood flow. 

Having successfully demonstrated this in the lab, the Cell Therapeutics Group is continuing to build an understanding of the method, which is providing hope for millions of people worldwide.

The process involves introducing blood vessel lining cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, known as ISPCs. The ISPCs are adult skin cells ‘reprogrammed’ to become other cell types, meaning they are not embryonic stem cells taken from unborn babies. This is just some of the awe-inspiring ork taking place every day at the Heart Research Institute.

The Cell Therapeutic Group’s overall focus is to develop novel therapies targeted against atherosclerosis (arterial blockages) and its consequences, namely the reduction in blood flow to the heart and periphery, leading to heart attack and stroke.

Their treatment aim is to bypass arterial blockages by stimulating new blood vessel growth, to restore blood flow to affected regions.


Related news

Gout Drug Mends Broken Hearts

A drug used to treat arthritis has been found to clear clogged arteries in heart attack survivors, world-first HRI research shows.

The landmark discovery by Associate Professor Sanjay Patel, Leader of the Cell Therapeutics Group, and his team at the HRI paves the way for a cheap, simple and effective treatment regime that could protect thousands of heart patients from future attacks that might kill them or further damage their heart. 

Read more

Stopping atherosclerosis in its tracks

A new treatment for atherosclerosis could soon be in sight, with an HRI study finding that progression of the common condition could be slowed using the chemokine binding protein ‘M3’.
Read more

Meet the team: Zohra Kakall

PhD student Zohra Kakall has always been fascinated by whole body physiology and the integration between the brain and other bodily systems. This fascination drew her to the HRI High Blood Pressure Group - which focuses on the way that brain networks control airways, breathing and blood pressure - and led her on a research trip across Europe.

Read more