Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Microbubbles improve myocardial remodelling after infarction

21.02.2013
Researchers at Bonn University Hospital demonstrate that ultrasound can ameliorate the sequelae of a myocardial infarction

Scientists from the Bonn University Hospital successfully tested a method in mice allowing the morphological and functional sequelae of a myocardial infarction to be reduced. Tiny gas bubbles are made to oscillate within the heart via focused ultrasound - this improves microcirculation and decreases the size of the scar tissue. The results show that the mice, following myocardial infarction, have improved cardiac output as a result of this method, as compared to untreated animals. The study is now being presented in the professional journal PLOS ONE.

Every year in Germany, approximately 280,000 people suffer a myocardial infarction; more than 52,000 die as a result. Due to an occluded vessel, parts of the heart muscle no longer have sufficient circulation and the tissue dies off. These regions are not replaced by new heart muscle cells but instead by scar tissue – this generally causes the pump function of the heart to decrease following an infarction. Scientists from the Bonn University Hospital have now successfully tested a new method on mice with which scar tissue can be reduced and cardiac output increased.

Microbubbles are made to oscillate within the heart

"There are attempts to treat the scar tissue with gene therapy or stem cells - by contrast, we have chosen a physical approach to treatment," reports Adj. Professor Dr. med. Alexander Ghanem from the Department of Cardiology of the Bonn University Hospital. The researchers injected a total of 17 mice which had previously had a myocardial infarction with microscopically small, gas-filled bubbles in the bloodstream. Once the microbubbles reached the heart, they were made to vibrate there using focused ultrasound. "Through this mechanical stimulation, the circulation of the area of the infarction is improved - and the scar shrinks," says the cardiac specialist.

Treated animals demonstrate ameliorated post-infarction remodelling

The scientists compared the results of the mice treated with the microbubbles to those of a control group. Two weeks after the myocardial infarction, there was expected worsening of heart function in the control group due to the maturing of the scar tissue. In contrast, the mice treated with the microbubbles did not develop any cardiac insufficiency. Jonas Dörner, the first author of the study, summarizes the results: "The pumping function was significantly better in the treated animals as compared to the control group; there was also a significantly smaller amount of decayed heart muscle tissue." Along with the Department of Cardiology, the Departments of Cardiac Surgery and Anesthesiology and the Institute of Physiology took part in the investigations.

Ultrasound treatment stimulates growth hormones

The scientists sought the causes of the positive treatment success which is, however, unexplained to date. Following ultrasound treatment of the mice, it was demonstrated that the amount of the body's own growth hormones significantly increased in the heart. "This is evidently the reason why the scar formation decreased as a result of the oscillating microbubbles," says Dr. Ghanem. The scientists now hope that humans will also be able to eventually be treated with the microbubble-ultrasound method, however further investigations are still needed. "Potentially, all patients who have had an acute myocardial infarction are eligible for this follow-up treatment," explains the cardiologist of the Bonn University Hospital. Interestingly, microbubbles are already used as a diagnostic contrast agent.

Patent for novel ultrasound method filed

The study, conducted with support from the BONFOR funding program of the Medical Faculty of Bonn University and the German Heart Foundation [Deutsche Herzstiftung e.V.], gave rise to a patent application. "Together with the company Philips Medical, we developed a novel ultrasonic probe which enables a standardized impulse discharge in the heart," reports the cardiologist. The special feature is that two ultrasound sources linked together are contained in one hybrid ultrasonic probe: one with low frequency for the focused stimulation of the microbubbles in the target organ and one with higher frequency for imaging. In this way, it can be very precisely determined where the scar tissue and the microbubbles are located. "This study demonstrates again that university research inspires technological developments in medicine," says Dr. Ghanem.

Publication: Ultrasound-mediated stimulation of microbubbles after acute myocardial infarction and reperfusion ameliorates left-ventricular remodelling in mice via improvement of borderzone vascularisation, PLOS ONE, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056841, Internet: Internet: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0056841

Contact information:

Adj. Professor Dr. med. Alexander Ghanem
Department of Cardiology
Bonn University Hospital
Tel. +49 228 28715507
E-Mail: ghanem@uni-bonn.de

Alexander Ghanem | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uni-bonn.de

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>