April 18, 2014 — A University of California, San Diego scientist has developed a new biomaterial that could potentially treat heart attacks. Karen Christman, Ph.D., associate professor of bioengineering at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, has been at work on a new injectable hydrogel, which is designed to repair damaged cardiac tissue following a heart attack.
The hydrogel has been licensed to San Diego-based startup Ventrix Inc., which is planning the first human clinical trials of the technology. Christman is a co-founder of Ventrix.
In a 2013 study published in Science Translational Medicine, Christman reported the semi-solid porous gel encourages cells to repopulate areas of damaged cardiac tissue and to preserve heart function. The hydrogel forms a scaffold to repair the tissue and increases cardiac muscle.
Christman was a faculty speaker at Research Expo, a UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering event, on April 17, where she presented the new technology.
For more information: http://www.jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/news/news_releases/release.sfe?id=1502