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This device restores cardiac function post-heart attack

Tuesday - June 12, 2018 6:12 pm , Category : HEALTH
Washington June 12 (IANS) A team of researchers from MIT have developed a novel refillable implantable device that can be directly attached to a damaged heart and deliver drugs to treat the after-effects of a heart attack.
The device called "Therepi" contains a sponge-like reservoir that attaches directly to the damaged heart tissue and a refill line connects the reservoir to a port on or under the patient s skin where therapies can be injected either by the patient or a healthcare professional the researchers said.
"After a heart attack we could use this device to deliver therapy to prevent a patient from getting heart failure " said Ellen Roche Assistant Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"If the patient already has some degree of heart failure we can use the device to attenuate the progression " she added.
The reservoir can be implanted on the heart in just one surgical procedure as well as provides a unique opportunity for administering stem cell therapies. It acts as a cell factory.
Therepi described in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering also addresses the problems with current drug delivery methods by administering localised non-invasive therapies as many times as needed.
In a rat model the device was shown to be effective in improving cardiac function after a heart attack. The researchers administered multiple doses of cells to a damaged heart throughout a four-week period.
The hearts that received multiple dosages of cells via therapy had more cardiac function than those who received only a single injection or no treatment at all.
Therepi could also be used as a tool to identify the exact dosage appropriate for a host of conditions the researchers said.

--IANS rt/vd