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Catalan scientists discover that umbilical cord stem cells can treat heart attacks and strokes

According to experiments tested on mice, Catalan scientists have affirmed that the stem cells located in the human umbilical chord, which are multipotential and therefore can become different types of cells, can be used to regenerate the tissue affected by a heart attack or a stroke. Until now the only way to recover the damaged tissue was through pharmacological treatment or a heart transplant.

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25 January 2013 08:06 PM

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ACN / Laia Ros

Badalona (ACN).- According to experiments tested on mice, Catalan researchers have affirmed that the stem cells located in the human umbilical chord, which are multipotential and therefore can become different types of cells, can be used to regenerate the tissue affected by a heart attack or a stroke. The study has been developed by the Heart Failure and Cardiac Regeneration research group (ICREC), from The Germans Trias Heart Institute, in collaboration with the Bioluminescence group, from Catalan Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).


After experiencing a heart attack, blood stops nourishing the heart cells, which end up dying and affecting the muscle. Until now the only way to recover the damaged tissue was through pharmacological treatment or a heart transplant. The stem cells could be used to generate vessels that would in turn regenerate the tissue.

Experiments on mice, in whose hearts some steam cells were added, show they minimize the damaged area and multiply the revascularization of the heart. The experiments are carried out by scientists, in order to find out if the results of this discovery may lead to a better functioning of the heart.

These results were published in the scientific journal Plos-One, under the title \u2018Human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells promote vascular growth in vivo\u2019. The study was carried out by the Heart Failure and Cardiac Regeneration research group (ICREC), from The Germans Trias Heart Institute, in collaboration with the Bioluminescence group, from Catalan Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

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  • A mouse heart with new blood vessels in green (by Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol)

  • A mouse heart with new blood vessels in green (by Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol)