Fat used to generate stem cells for heart conditions

Posted by our medical correspondent

Florida healthcare company Bioheart claimed it has made a major breakthrough in
cardiovascular therapy by obtaining stem cells from a patient's fat tissue to help regenerate blood vessel formation.

The company said that it is collaborating with the Hispital de Clinicas Caracas in Venezuela in three studies delivering adipose stem cells (ASCs) during a bypass operation, delivering cells in chronic heart ischemia, and delivering cells for critical limb ischemia.

It's claimed that adipose derived stem cells and the firm's TGI 1200 system will limit damage to heart muscle after acute injury, the cells act as a catalyst for new blood vessel formation, and a faster way for obtaining stem cells.

Dr Karl Groth, Bioheart's CEO, said: "The adipose tissue in the human body can be considered a stem cell reservoir given the large concentration of regenerative cells it contains. This discovery leads to new possibilities and cell therapy treatments in cardiovascular related illnesses."

The TGI 1200 system is an automated system that recovers "potentially regenerative" stem cells from a patient's own adipose tissue in 60 minutes.

Dr Nusen Beer, a cardiologist at the Hospital de Clinicas, said: "By injecting ASCs into areas of low perfusion, these regions may become populated with angiogenic ASCs, thereby potentially improving blood supply to the scar and reducing scar size."

Adipose tissue extraction is far less painful than using a person's bone marrow to obtain stem cells.

Coronary artery disease is the biggest killer worldwide - and over 500,000 people in the USA have heart bypass surgery each year.