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Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Biomedical team works to develop living heart patch

Dr. James Jaggers

Dr. James Jaggers describes the new project to a reporter for Science Nation.

Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus are developing exciting new technologies to help infants with congenital heart defects.

Currently, many babies born with complex heart defects will require multiple surgeries across their lifetime. Surgeons are able to implant patches to assist the babies’ heart function, but these patches have many limitations. Being made of synthetic materials, they cannot grow as a child’s heart increases in size. Also, they do not contract or conduct electrical activity as normal heart tissue does.

A new project headed by bioengineer Jeff Jacot, PhD, aims to use the infant’s own tissues, harvested in utero, to generate a biological heart patch that becomes a working part of the baby’s heart and grows right along with the child, obviating the need for further surgeries. Dr. Jacot and surgeon James Jaggers, MD, explain the concepts in this video for the National Science Foundation.

(October 2017)

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