The 10th IASTED International Conference on
February 13 – 15, 2013
Cardiac Tissue Engineering
The myocardium has a very limited regenerative capacity, so that the massive cell death associated with myocardial infarction results in replacement of beating muscle with scar tissue. Stem cell therapies have tried to make good this loss, but are bedevilled by the inability of exogenous cells to remain within the highly contractile tissue. Most of the clinical treatments have shown limited abilities to restore heart function and, where benefit is shown, paracrine mechanisms are the likely mechanism. Myocardial tissue engineering has a goal of supporting cardiac or cardiac progenitor cells in place until integration can occur, in addition to promoting vascularisation of the graft. There is also added value to be leveraged from the material in terms of support to prevent scar expansion and, in novel developments, to introduce characteristics such as electrical conductivity to reduce the substrate for arrhythmia. In terms of cell-material interactions, a further strategy has been to tailor material to promote maturation of stem cell-derived myocardium before implantation, again to reduce the likelihood of arrhythmia from the mismatch between host myocardium and immature stem cells. Finally, the introduction of novel materials must be balanced against the requirements of the regulators for fully biocompatible and reproducible products.
Biography of the Invited Speaker
Professor Sian Harding obtained her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from King’s College, London in 1981. She became Professor of Cardiac Pharmacology at the National Heart and Lung Institute, a Division of the Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, in 2002. Her work has been funded by the British Heart Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council, the Biochemical and Biophysical Research Council, the NC3Rs, Pfizer, GSK and SmithKline Beecham. Professor Harding is former President of the European Section of the International Society for Heart Research, and has organized international cardiovascular science meetings for this society, as well as for the European Society of Cardiology. She is PI on the first UK Gene therapy Trial aimed at improving cardiac contractility, organized jointly at Harefield and Papworth Hospitals. Prof Harding is member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and of the Scientific Advisory Board of “Stem Cells for Safer Medicines”. She has been elected Fellow of both the American Heart Association and the European Society of Cardiology.