VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (VSTA) and Duke University Report Positive Results on Production of Functional 3D Human Heart Tissue

VistaGen Therapeutics, a biotech company focused on applying stem cell technology for drug rescue, predictive toxicology, and drug metabolism assays, reports that its human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (heart cells) were used by a collaboration partner, Duke University, to grow a revolutionary three-dimensional (3D) human heart muscle.

Researchers at Duke University used VistaGen’s cardiomyocytes in combination with innovative tissue engineering and cardiac electrophysiology technologies to grow the “heart patch,” which contracts at speed similar to the natural functions of native human heart tissue and provides researchers with a better understanding of the biology necessary to cardiac tissue engineering.

The heart patch also provides potential applications in regenerative cell therapy for heart disease and serves as predictive in vitro assays for drug rescue and development.

“The developed contractile forces and other functional properties of these cardiac tissues are remarkable and are significantly higher than any previous reports,” H. Ralph Snodgrass, PhD, VistaGen’s president and chief scientific officer, stated in the press release. “The achievement of successfully growing a human heart muscle from cardiomyocytes derived from human pluripotent stem cells not only expands the scope of our drug rescue capabilities, but also reflects the advanced nature and potential of our collaboration with the skilled biomedical engineers at Duke Medical Center.”

Dr. Nenad Bursac, associate professor in the Departments of Cardiology and Biomedical Engineering at Duke University, praised the performance of VistaGen’s heart cells in the study.

“VistaGen’s human cardiomyocytes produced engineered cardiac tissues that exhibited functional properties superior to those previously reported,” Dr. Bursac stated.

An abstract of the original research article published in Biomaterials, an international journal covering the science and clinical application of biomaterials, can be found online by scrolling down the page available at this link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0142961213004705.

For more information, visit www.vistagen.com

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