VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (VSTA) Presents Heart Tissue Engineering Progress at American Heart Association 2012 Scientific Sessions
VistaGen Therapeutics, a biotechnology company applying stem cell technology for drug rescue, predictive toxicology and drug metabolism screening, today announced that results of their collaboration with Duke University were presented this week at the American Heart Association 2012 Scientific Sessions in Los Angeles.
The presentation, entitled “Human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiac tissue patch with advanced structure and function,” illuminated the important synergistic interactions of VistaGen’s stem cell-derived human cardiomyocytes (heart cells) and Duke’s tissue engineering and analytical technologies. The research, which expands the scope of VistaGen’s drug rescue capabilities focused on heart toxicology, was led at Duke by Dr. Nenad Bursac, Associate Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Cardiology, and at VistaGen by Dr. Ralph Snodgrass, President and Chief Scientific Officer.
The high-quality and purity of VistaGen’s cardiomyocytes, together with Dr. Bursac’s innovative tissue engineering technologies, enabled the development of novel methods of engineering three-dimensional (3D) cardiac tissues and unique in vitro systems for studying the maturation and electromechanical function of human cardiac muscle. These technologies provide novel in vitro tools for evaluating drug effects, positive and negative, on human cardiac tissues.
“I am very excited by the opportunities created and results we have achieved by combining our stem cell-based cardiomyocyte technologies and expertise with Dr. Bursac’s leading-edge tissue engineering team at Duke,” stated Dr. Snodgrass. “This important collaboration further demonstrates the quality and functionality of our pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, and suggests potential new tools for our cardiac drug rescue program, while also highlighting the potential therapeutic applications for our combined technologies.”
“VistaGen’s human cardiomyocytes produced engineered cardiac tissues that exhibited functional properties far superior to those previously reported,” said Dr. Bursac. “These superior properties offer exciting new opportunities to develop novel electrical and mechanical tools to guide and evaluate our tissue engineering design of functional bioartificial muscle for stem cell-based therapies aimed at treating heart disease and injury, as well as cardiac arrhythmias.”
For more information, visit the company’s website www.VistaGen.com
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