Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New technology, new approach to help heart and lung patients awaiting transplants


Stem cell research and artificial lung technology presented at ISHLT meeting today (6-Apr-2005)

Promising new technology may extend the life of a failing organ for patients suffering from heart or lung disease while they wait for a donor organ. The use of stem cells may eliminate the need for a transplant and even eradicate heart disease in patients. Research and discussion will be presented today during symposia at the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) Annual Meeting and Scientific Session in Philadelphia.

Cardiac Devices

Presenter Robert Kormos, M.D., University of Pittsburgh (Penn.) Medical Center, advocates the development and use of a pump device that will address, and in some cases eliminate, heart failure. Partnered with stem cell technology, the new pump would be smaller and minimally invasive and would allow a patient’s heart to emerge strong enough to accept the implanted stem cells that would improve the heart’s function and reduce or eliminate heart disease in the patient.

"We know from successful trials outside the U.S. that implanting stem cells results in myocardial recovery. By changing our way of thinking and addressing heart failure in its earlier states, and by using devices and stem cells together, a patient can enjoy life without heart failure instead of continuing to live with it," says Kormos.

Kormos also suggests that a new approach for ventricular assist devices (VAD) is on the horizon for cardiac patients. While VAD usage gains increasing acceptance, a new way of thinking may change the way doctors use these assistive devices.

Ventricular assist devices stabilize adults with heart disease, and act as a mechanical "bridge" for patients waiting for a donor heart. According to a Columbia University Medical Center study, patients in end-stage heart failure who received a VAD had more than double the one-year survival rate compared with patients who did not receive a device.

However, Kormos challenges that VADs should be incorporated earlier in treatment. "We in the medical community spend a lot of time helping patients live with heart failure until their bodies can’t tolerate it any longer. Ironically, by the time we deem the candidate eligible for a heart transplant or a VAD, the patient may be so sick that he is no longer a good candidate for either, " says Kormos.

Pediatric Devices

VADs are designed for adult patients, but recent studies show that they may also help some children suffering from heart disease. "More than 70 percent of children with end-stage heart disease are bridging successfully to transplantation with a VAD. This emphasizes the need to develop a device for smaller patients who cannot be supported with current technology," says James Kirklin, M.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham and participant in this afternoon’s Symposium, "The Final Technology Solutions for End Stage Congestive Heart Failure" at the ISHLT Meeting.

Research on implanting cardiac defibrillators in children will also be presented at the Meeting. Defibrillators help prevent sudden cardiac death and have proven effective for adults with heart disease.

"Our research has shown that children who have a higher likelihood of decreased blood flow to tissue or organs may benefit, but in general, children are at a much lower risk of sudden cardiac death," says Kirklin. "Further studies are still needed."

Lung Devices

Several devices are also emerging to help people with lung disease. An estimated 4,000 Americans were on a lung transplant waiting list in 2004 and demand outpaced donor organ availability by approximately 75 percent. Research related to lung devices will be discussed during the afternoon Symposium, "Cardiopulmonary Assist Devices: Looking Beyond the Horizon."

"Unlike the heart, no mechanical device exists for lung patients," says Bart Griffith, M.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Griffith explains that good temporary options have been available for some time, but they are bulky and restrictive for patients. He says there is an urgent need for a better assistive device, and ultimately, a mechanical replacement for failing lungs.

An interventional lung assist (ILA), developed by the German company Novalung GmbH, shows promising results.

"Several hundred patients in Europe have been treated successfully with ILA," Griffith says.

A non-invasive device, the ILA is connected to the patient and simulates lung function by removing carbon dioxide and increasing oxygen levels in the patient’s blood, relieving the damaged lung from performing that task.

Griffith’s research is focused on a prototype pump lung that could become the first artificial lung in the United States. As small as a CD player, its portability offers patients mobility while it actively mixes blood as it pumps through the device. Griffith estimates the device could be ready for patient use in two years.

Lauren Mason | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

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: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>