Local innovation repairs holes in the heart

Posted: April 2, 2015 at 2:44 am

CardioCel has been initially well received with surgeons in Australia and overseas. Photo: Geoff Fisher

For 10 years researchers at Admedus worked day and night trying to work out how to improve soft tissue repair in the human body.

And with the vital help of CSIRO they have been to develop CardioCel, a life-saving heart patch for the repair and reconstruction of cardiovascular defects.

According to the Children's Heart Foundation, congenital heart disease occurs in one out of 100 births and in at least half of those cases surgery is required and a patch is needed. They state it is the leading cause of birth defect related deaths.

Research undertaken with CSIRO investigated new, potentially ground-breaking applications for CardioCel. The research focused on using stem cells. It found the heart patch has the potential to deliver stem cells and help tissue heal better than other existing products, when used for cardiac repair.

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Derived from animal tissue, the CardioCel patch is engineered over 14 days.

"The first unique feature of this product is that it doesn't calcify in young patients," Professor Leon Neethling, Admedus technical director and heart researcher says.

The flexible patch works like human tissue to cover holes in the heart thereby eliminating the need for repeat surgery.

"In the cardiac repair field it has long been recognised that strong, flexible, biocompatible and calcification-resistant tissue scaffolds would be ideal tissues for repair of heart defects," Admedus' chief operating officer Dr Julian Chick, says.

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Local innovation repairs holes in the heart

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