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News Article | April 6, 2017
Site: www.scientificcomputing.com

The American Heart Association Precision Medicine Platform -- a global, secure data discovery platform, recently developed in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) -- is now open for use. Researchers, physicians, computational biologists, computer engineers and trainees from around the globe can leverage this cloud-based resource to access and analyze volumes of cardiovascular and stroke data to accelerate the care of patients at risk of the number one killer in the United States and a leading global health threat. The AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular MedicineTM is calling on all cardiovascular and stroke dataset owners and stewards to share their data as the first step in acquiring all the pieces needed to treat and prevent heart failure, stroke, coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation and other cardiovascular diseases. Data from clinical trials, long-running epidemiologic studies, registries and real-time health data acquired through wearable devices and technology is sought. "We have blown away the barriers and welcome all to join this game-changing platform that promotes us working together as one community to ultimately benefit patients worldwide," said Jennifer Hall, PhD, the AHA's Chief of the Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine. "The platform provides an opportunity to learn, search and discover in new and efficient ways, and we will keep working with the community to weave in new diverse data to help us drill deeper and enrich our understanding." Several organizations are leading the way toward the future of open data by contributing their information to the secure platform, including AstraZeneca, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Dallas Heart Study, Duke Cardiovascular Research Institute, Intermountain Health, the International Stroke Genetics Consortium, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Stanford University. "The increasing breadth and depth of medical data presents a tremendous opportunity to generate more nuanced and precise pre-diagnoses. However, leveraging this data requires tools capable of integrating data of diverse origin. The AHA Precision Medicine Platform can empower researchers with both the framework and tools to ease the burdens of data harmonization, amplifying the insight available from their own data." Said Gabriel Musso, PhD, VP Life Sciences, BioSymetrics Inc., who has been actively using the platform during the initial phase. The AHA Precision Medicine Platform is the only resource of its kind focused on cardiovascular diseases and stroke. "I am so excited for the potential the AHA Precision Medicine Platform brings for doing research across data sets to find consistent research results, and replicate and confirm research," said early adaptor Laura M. Stevens, a Predoctoral National Library of Medicine Fellow in the computational biosciences program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical School. "The platform makes big data analyses much quicker and easier. It's a great foundation for implementing precision medicine and research in a clinical setting. I can't wait to see where this will take us as a research community." Researchers are not charged for accessing the data but will pay a fee for cloud computing capabilities based on the current AWS model. Any revenue from cloud-based computing will be used to fund AHA's research initiatives. "By working together on datasets we have the ability to test the speed, agility and transparency of research," said Hall. "With your data and your efforts, the AHA Precision Medicine Platform can help enable your discoveries of novel underlying causal factors of heart failure, new diagnostic biomarkers to predict stroke, or exponential new approaches to precision care for those with cardiovascular diseases and stroke." Through the tool, the AHA reaches across the government, academic, industry, and patient communities to deepen data resources and spur research opportunities with an aim to transform cardiovascular research and patient care. To further foster research aimed at reversing and preventing cardiovascular diseases and stroke, the AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine also offers a variety of grant opportunities for scientists and researchers from many different fields of study. The application process for several grants is currently open.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital named cardiothoracic surgeon Jeffrey Jacobs, M.D., FACS, FACC, FCCP and cardiologist Gary Stapleton, M.D. as co-directors of the Johns Hopkins All Children's Heart Institute. The two are overseeing the U.S. News and World Report ranked pediatric cardiac surgery and cardiology programs at the hospital, as well as the team of specialists in cardiac surgery, pediatric cardiology, cardiac anesthesia, critical care and nursing working together to provide excellence in clinical care, education and research. “Drs. Jacobs and Stapleton will provide strong leadership, vision and clear strategy focused on innovation and excellence which will help us push quality and safety in cardiac care forward, as well as improve the overall care and outcomes for our heart patients,” says Jonathan Ellen, M.D., president and vice dean of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Dr. Jacobs serves as chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery and director of the Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program within the heart institute. He is a professor of cardiac surgery and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University and surgical director of the Heart Transplantation Program and director of the Extracorporeal Life Support Program at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute. In addition to his research in cardiothoracic surgery, he also serves as editor in chief of Cardiology in the Young, one of the most widely read journals dedicated to patients with pediatric and congenital cardiac disease. He also chairs the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Workforce on National Databases. Dr. Stapleton also serves as chief of pediatric cardiology and medical director of the cardiac catheterization lab, where more than 400 diagnostic and interventional procedures are performed annually. Additionally, Dr. Stapleton is active in research and education in interventional cardiology and has launched innovative techniques at Johns Hopkins All Children’s to treat congenital heart disease without the need for open heart surgery. About Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg is a leader in children’s health care, combining a legacy of compassionate care focused solely on children since 1926 with the innovation and experience of one of the world’s leading health care systems. The 259-bed teaching hospital, ranked as a U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital, stands at the forefront of discovery, leading innovative research to cure and prevent childhood diseases while training the next generation of pediatric experts. With a network of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Outpatient Care centers and collaborative care provided by All Children’s Specialty Physicians at regional hospitals, Johns Hopkins All Children’s brings care closer to home. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital consistently keeps the patient and family at the center of care while continuing to expand its mission in treatment, research, education and advocacy. For more information, visit HopkinsAllChildrens.org.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

DALLAS, May 3, 2017 -- Nearly one in five people who reported the greatest number of cardiac risk factors did not believe they needed to improve their health, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. While most people in the study at the highest risk for a heart attack were more likely to agree on needed health improvements, more than half of those perceiving this need identified barriers to change, which were most commonly lack of self-discipline, work schedule and family responsibilities. "Understanding what motivates changes in behavior is key to improving the health of individuals and communities," said F. Daniel Ramirez, M.D, lead study author and a research fellow at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. "Our study sheds light on how knowledge of personally modifiable risk factors for heart attack, such as quitting smoking and exercising, affects people's perception of the need to improve their health." Researchers analyzed 45,443 responses from adults participating in the 2011-12 Canadian Community Health Survey. The survey gathered information about eight established risk factors for heart attack that people can change, including smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity and poor diet. Along with high cholesterol, which was not included in the survey, researchers noted these factors account for 90 percent of heart attack risk. The survey also asked participants if they thought "there is anything you should do to improve your physical health?" Respondents who reported that they had high blood pressure or diabetes also weren't more likely to perceive the need to improve their health than those without those conditions. The survey did not include information about whether this group took medications to control these health problems, which may have affected their perceptions about the need to improve their health. Still, "lifestyle modifications are very important for these conditions, particularly diabetes, even for those on medications," said Benjamin Hibbert, M.D., Ph.D. senior study author and an interventional cardiologist and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. The study also looked at factors that might bias results, including age, education, income and whether respondents had a regular healthcare provider. After adjusting for these factors, researchers found that older and white participants were more likely than younger and minority group members to express a desire to improve their health. Hibbert said the study's take-home message is that recognizing the risk factors for heart attack is effective for motivating some, but not all people to improve their physical health. Effectively convincing people to adopt and sustain healthy lifestyle changes requires a better understanding of what makes them tick, he said. Despite many similarities between Canada and the United States, researchers said they couldn't say whether differences in healthcare systems and culture would limit generalizing study findings to the United States. Co-authors are Yue Chen, Ph.D.; Pietro Di Santo, M.D.; Trevor Simard, M.D.; and Pouya Motazedian, B.Sc. Author disclosures are on the manuscript. Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association's policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at http://www. .


Annual Cardiologists Conference Series in a Mission to Fight Against Cardiac Diseases The three day event is expected to implant firm strategies in the field of Cardiology & Cardiovascular Treatment. The conceptual and applicable knowledge shared will also foster organizational collaborations to nurture scientific accelerations. The Cardiology Conference series brings together world-eminent speakers, most recent researches, latest treatment techniques and the advanced updates in Cardiology, Treatment and Management to highlight the principal features of this conference. Paris, France, May 03, 2017 --( The 18th Annual Cardiologists Conference is going to be held in Paris, France during June 19-21, 2017, revolving around the theme: “Building and Beating to the Future of the Heart.” This meeting has been CME Certified by the Spanish Society of Cardiology Accreditation Committee (CASEC) and they are providing 16 CME Credits to all the participants of this event. As we all know, Paris is known as the “City of Love,” therefore this meeting will also provide an opportunity to the attendees for exploring the city with exciting tourist attractions. This meeting will be fulfilled by the participation of eminent cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, cardio-thoracic surgeons, cardiac nurses, scientists, professors, medical students and business professionals from pharmaceutical companies from every corner of the world so that they can discuss their ideas and deliver their respective research works amongst others. Cardiologists 2017 will provide exposure to the on-going researches in Cardiology and related science fields. It will also provide insight to the novel inventions and techniques. It is very beneficial for the student Cardiologists and fellowship owners because it provides 16 CME credits which encourage discussions, provide networking opportunities, offer practical experience, explain new or modified regulations and give chance to introduce new ideas and approaches. It also gives opportunities to the companies to showcase their products and have face to face meetings with scientists which help them to increase their business opportunities. Cardiologists 2017 also gives companies to know about their market competitors. Cardiovascular disorder is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular events and ischemic heart diseases, therefore one of the most important preventable causes of premature morbidity and mortality in developed and developing countries. It is often symptomless, so screening is vital before damage is done. Many surveys continue to show that Cardiac Disorder remains underdiagnosed, undertreated and poorly controlled. Blood Pressure has a skewed normal distribution within the population and the currently accepted model assumes risk is continuously related to BP. The few main topics of the event are- Heart Diseases, Hypertension, Electrocardiography, Pediatric & Geriatric Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Cardio-oncology, Diabetes & Heart, Cardio-thoracic Surgery, Cardiac Nursing and many more. For further details, please go through: http://annualmeeting.conferenceseries.com/cardiologists/ The Organizing Committee Members of this esteem event comprises- Prof. Guy Hugues Fontaine of La Salpêtrière Hospital, France, Dr. Roland Hetzer, Former Medical Director of German Heart Institute, Germany, Dr. Heinz-Peter Schultheiss, CEO of IKDT, Germany and many more. Contact us: Raul Wilson Program Manager Cardiologists 2017 Email: cardiologists@cardiologyconference.org; cardiologists@cardiologymeeting.com Paris, France, May 03, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Cardiology is the field of science which is related to heart. It deals with functions and disorders connected with blood, arteries and veins. The global cardiology market constitutes cardiac biomarkers, interventional cardiology and cardiovascular devices. It found that the global market for in vitro diagnostic tests for cardiac biomarkers was estimated at $3.1 billion in 2012 and nearly $4 billion in 2013. This market is predicted to reach $7.2 billion by 2018, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.8% over the five-year period from 2013 to 2018. And the global market for emerging medical device technologies should reach $90.8 billion by 2021 from $55.9 billion in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.2%, from 2016 to 2021.The 18th Annual Cardiologists Conference is going to be held in Paris, France during June 19-21, 2017, revolving around the theme: “Building and Beating to the Future of the Heart.” This meeting has been CME Certified by the Spanish Society of Cardiology Accreditation Committee (CASEC) and they are providing 16 CME Credits to all the participants of this event. As we all know, Paris is known as the “City of Love,” therefore this meeting will also provide an opportunity to the attendees for exploring the city with exciting tourist attractions. This meeting will be fulfilled by the participation of eminent cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, cardio-thoracic surgeons, cardiac nurses, scientists, professors, medical students and business professionals from pharmaceutical companies from every corner of the world so that they can discuss their ideas and deliver their respective research works amongst others.Cardiologists 2017 will provide exposure to the on-going researches in Cardiology and related science fields. It will also provide insight to the novel inventions and techniques. It is very beneficial for the student Cardiologists and fellowship owners because it provides 16 CME credits which encourage discussions, provide networking opportunities, offer practical experience, explain new or modified regulations and give chance to introduce new ideas and approaches. It also gives opportunities to the companies to showcase their products and have face to face meetings with scientists which help them to increase their business opportunities. Cardiologists 2017 also gives companies to know about their market competitors. Cardiovascular disorder is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular events and ischemic heart diseases, therefore one of the most important preventable causes of premature morbidity and mortality in developed and developing countries. It is often symptomless, so screening is vital before damage is done. Many surveys continue to show that Cardiac Disorder remains underdiagnosed, undertreated and poorly controlled. Blood Pressure has a skewed normal distribution within the population and the currently accepted model assumes risk is continuously related to BP.The few main topics of the event are- Heart Diseases, Hypertension, Electrocardiography, Pediatric & Geriatric Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Cardio-oncology, Diabetes & Heart, Cardio-thoracic Surgery, Cardiac Nursing and many more.For further details, please go through: http://annualmeeting.conferenceseries.com/cardiologists/The Organizing Committee Members of this esteem event comprises- Prof. Guy Hugues Fontaine of La Salpêtrière Hospital, France, Dr. Roland Hetzer, Former Medical Director of German Heart Institute, Germany, Dr. Heinz-Peter Schultheiss, CEO of IKDT, Germany and many more.Contact us:Raul WilsonProgram ManagerCardiologists 2017Email: cardiologists@cardiologyconference.org; cardiologists@cardiologymeeting.com Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Cardiology Conference Series


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

Ten million people in Europe alone suffer from cardiac insufficiency, or a weak heart. One day, many of them may require a heart transplant. Artificial heart pumps are frequently used to bridge the wait for the transplant. However, these pumps also have their drawbacks. A project involving Empa offers a possible solution. Artificial heart pumps can be tricky: blood clots may develop, causing a stroke, and the immune system may attack what it recognizes as foreign. In order to tackle this and other problems with artificial hearts, in 2011 University Medicine Zurich launched the Zurich Heart project in collaboration with the University Hospital Zurich, the University of Zurich and the ETH Zurich. Meanwhile, the consortium boasts more than 75 MDs, engineers, biologists and materials scientists. Zurich Heart aims to refine current heart pumps and find completely new, original solutions. The goal of the project is to develop a fully implantable artificial heart. Around 20 research groups in Switzerland and at the German Heart Institute in Berlin have pooled their outstanding expertise to realize this ambitious goal. As a materials research institute, Empa was a logical partner to contribute innovative solutions. “We’d like to make an artificial heart pump that works in a similar way to the human heart and has its inner surface covered with the patient’s own cells,” explains Edoardo Mazza, Head of Empa’s Mechanical Integrity of Energy Systems lab, professor at ETH Zurich and co-leader of Zurich Heart. Two teams from Empa, one from the field of biotechnology/biointerfaces, the other from the textiles sector, are working on this heart pump, which is “invisible” to the body’s blood clotting and immune system. But what have textiles got to do with human organs? More than you might think: after all, aren’t we talking about human tissue, about muscle fibers that can tear? And aren’t veins and arteries essentially nothing more than hollow fibers, through which our blood flows? “These days, textile development has nothing anymore to do with cotton T-shirts and the like,” says René Rossi, Head of Empa’s Biomimetic Membranes and Textiles lab. For him, a textile is when a one-dimensional material – a fiber – is turned into a two-dimensional entity. This might be fabric or tissue. “Theoretically, there are no bounds to the materials and properties,” explains Rossi. “The fibers can be made of metal, wood or synthetic material, and used to produce textiles or entities that are malleable, elastic, lightweight etc.” One of the main problems of current heart pumps is the fact that blood can start coagulating when it comes into contact with them. Blood clots can form, which roam around the body and can cause strokes or embolisms. If the surface of the artificial heart pump is given a kind of coating that the body perceives as a “natural” environment, however, blood clots could – at least in theory – be prevented. The inner surface of natural blood vessels is lined with a layer of endothelial cells, which control the exchange between the blood and body’s tissues. Therefore, Empa scientists are now working on an ultra-thin lining made of sticky polymer fibers that are less than a micrometer thick. Living endothelial cells are placed on this “fabric”, where they form a monolayer – as they do in all lymphatic and blood vessels. This kind of tissue surface could trick blood cells into thinking the pump is one of the body’s own organs. For the endothelial cells to feel at home in the artificial tissue, however, they need to be able to effectively “cling onto” the lining. A simple lining made of polymer fibers is ill-suited. This is where Empa’s electrospinning unit comes in. The technique is used to produce polymers, i.e. purely or-ganic and hybrid fibers measuring less than a micrometer in diameter, which makes novel membranes for use in medical engineering, catalysis and filter technology possible. An electric current is applied between a cannula, from which a polymer solution is squeezed, and a counter electrode – and this pulls threads. Thanks to the electric field, the threads twirl until they form a tissue-like membrane. Holding it in your hand, it feels like a wafer-thin, elastic cloth. “The membrane for the heart pump needs to be stable, firm and stretchable in all directions,” says Giuseppino Fortunato from the Biomimetic Membranes and Textiles lab. “It really has to withstand a lot.” After all, the heart beats around 100,000 times a day. This mixed tissue made of fibers and cells can also be produced in the incubator. The Biointerface lab headed by Katharina Maniura is in charge of the cells, using smooth muscle cells that form a cellular structure on the hybrid membrane – as found in natural blood vessels. Endothelial cells are then supposed to settle on this “substructure”. The cells feel particularly at home if they find a substructure that reminds them of the body’s own structures – more specifically, collagenous fibers such as from connective tissue. “We have to get muscle cells to produce collagen so the endothelial cells stick to it permanently,” explains Maniura. “If the tissue is composed of two types of cells, they emit signals and thus communicate with each other. This also has the effect that the endothelial cells are stabilized on the surface and readily perform their natural functions.” In order to render the electrospun fibers particularly attractive for the cells, the polymer fibers should be functionalized with cell adhesion peptides. The idea is for both the endothelial and the muscle fiber cells to be “presented” with their typical natural environment so the multi-layered structure lives as long as possible. Whether this also works in practice is being examined in a bioreactor. The material system, i.e. the synthetic elastomer pump wall developed by the Zurich Heart consortium, is exposed to “real” conditions together with Empa’s cell-textile mixture. The reactor recreates the situation in the human body, allows a cell culture liquid instead of blood to flow by, and simulates pulsations that mimic the movement of the heart muscle. This should show the researchers whether the “camouflaged” materials can withstand the heavy strain in the human body. “We will conduct a study using the first prototypes of the biomimetic heart pumps before the end of the year. But it will be many years before they can be used clinically,” says Mazza. The pumps each have to be “grown” individually using the patient’s own cells. Eventually, this will involve taking cells from the patients’ blood, vessels or fatty tissue. These will then be grown in the lab for two to three weeks before the heart pump with the endothelial layer can be implanted. “The concept would be too slow for emergency operations,” explains Mazza. Nonetheless, patients with a cardiac insufficiency could use the biomimetic pump to relieve the strain to such an extent that the heart is able to regenerate under its own steam – help it to help itself, as it were.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

Ten million people in Europe alone suffer from cardiac insufficiency, or a weak heart. One day, many of them may require a heart transplant. Artificial heart pumps are frequently used to bridge the wait for the transplant. However, these pumps also have their drawbacks. A project involving Empa offers a possible solution. Artificial heart pumps can be tricky: blood clots may develop, causing a stroke, and the immune system may attack what it recognizes as foreign. In order to tackle this and other problems with artificial hearts, in 2011 University Medicine Zurich launched the Zurich Heart project in collaboration with the University Hospital Zurich, the University of Zurich and the ETH Zurich. Meanwhile, the consortium boasts more than 75 MDs, engineers, biologists and materials scientists. Zurich Heart aims to refine current heart pumps and find completely new, original solutions. The goal of the project is to develop a fully implantable artificial heart. Around 20 research groups in Switzerland and at the German Heart Institute in Berlin have pooled their outstanding expertise to realize this ambitious goal. As a materials research institute, Empa was a logical partner to contribute innovative solutions. “We’d like to make an artificial heart pump that works in a similar way to the human heart and has its inner surface covered with the patient’s own cells,” explains Edoardo Mazza, Head of Empa’s Mechanical Integrity of Energy Systems lab, professor at ETH Zurich and co-leader of Zurich Heart. Two teams from Empa, one from the field of biotechnology/biointerfaces, the other from the textiles sector, are working on this heart pump, which is “invisible” to the body’s blood clotting and immune system. But what have textiles got to do with human organs? More than you might think: after all, aren’t we talking about human tissue, about muscle fibers that can tear? And aren’t veins and arteries essentially nothing more than hollow fibers, through which our blood flows? “These days, textile development has nothing anymore to do with cotton T-shirts and the like,” says René Rossi, Head of Empa’s Biomimetic Membranes and Textiles lab. For him, a textile is when a one-dimensional material – a fiber – is turned into a two-dimensional entity. This might be fabric or tissue. “Theoretically, there are no bounds to the materials and properties,” explains Rossi. “The fibers can be made of metal, wood or synthetic material, and used to produce textiles or entities that are malleable, elastic, lightweight etc.” One of the main problems of current heart pumps is the fact that blood can start coagulating when it comes into contact with them. Blood clots can form, which roam around the body and can cause strokes or embolisms. If the surface of the artificial heart pump is given a kind of coating that the body perceives as a “natural” environment, however, blood clots could – at least in theory – be prevented. The inner surface of natural blood vessels is lined with a layer of endothelial cells, which control the exchange between the blood and body’s tissues. Therefore, Empa scientists are now working on an ultra-thin lining made of sticky polymer fibers that are less than a micrometer thick. Living endothelial cells are placed on this “fabric”, where they form a monolayer – as they do in all lymphatic and blood vessels. This kind of tissue surface could trick blood cells into thinking the pump is one of the body’s own organs. For the endothelial cells to feel at home in the artificial tissue, however, they need to be able to effectively “cling onto” the lining. A simple lining made of polymer fibers is ill-suited. This is where Empa’s electrospinning unit comes in. The technique is used to produce polymers, i.e. purely or-ganic and hybrid fibers measuring less than a micrometer in diameter, which makes novel membranes for use in medical engineering, catalysis and filter technology possible. An electric current is applied between a cannula, from which a polymer solution is squeezed, and a counter electrode – and this pulls threads. Thanks to the electric field, the threads twirl until they form a tissue-like membrane. Holding it in your hand, it feels like a wafer-thin, elastic cloth. “The membrane for the heart pump needs to be stable, firm and stretchable in all directions,” says Giuseppino Fortunato from the Biomimetic Membranes and Textiles lab. “It really has to withstand a lot.” After all, the heart beats around 100,000 times a day. This mixed tissue made of fibers and cells can also be produced in the incubator. The Biointerface lab headed by Katharina Maniura is in charge of the cells, using smooth muscle cells that form a cellular structure on the hybrid membrane – as found in natural blood vessels. Endothelial cells are then supposed to settle on this “substructure”. The cells feel particularly at home if they find a substructure that reminds them of the body’s own structures – more specifically, collagenous fibers such as from connective tissue. “We have to get muscle cells to produce collagen so the endothelial cells stick to it permanently,” explains Maniura. “If the tissue is composed of two types of cells, they emit signals and thus communicate with each other. This also has the effect that the endothelial cells are stabilized on the surface and readily perform their natural functions.” In order to render the electrospun fibers particularly attractive for the cells, the polymer fibers should be functionalized with cell adhesion peptides. The idea is for both the endothelial and the muscle fiber cells to be “presented” with their typical natural environment so the multi-layered structure lives as long as possible. Whether this also works in practice is being examined in a bioreactor. The material system, i.e. the synthetic elastomer pump wall developed by the Zurich Heart consortium, is exposed to “real” conditions together with Empa’s cell-textile mixture. The reactor recreates the situation in the human body, allows a cell culture liquid instead of blood to flow by, and simulates pulsations that mimic the movement of the heart muscle. This should show the researchers whether the “camouflaged” materials can withstand the heavy strain in the human body. “We will conduct a study using the first prototypes of the biomimetic heart pumps before the end of the year. But it will be many years before they can be used clinically,” says Mazza. The pumps each have to be “grown” individually using the patient’s own cells. Eventually, this will involve taking cells from the patients’ blood, vessels or fatty tissue. These will then be grown in the lab for two to three weeks before the heart pump with the endothelial layer can be implanted. “The concept would be too slow for emergency operations,” explains Mazza. Nonetheless, patients with a cardiac insufficiency could use the biomimetic pump to relieve the strain to such an extent that the heart is able to regenerate under its own steam – help it to help itself, as it were.


The International Nurses Association is pleased to welcome Jenean K. Ehlers, RN, CLNC, to their prestigious organization with her upcoming publication in the Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare. Jenean K. Ehlers is a Registered Nurse and Nurse Manager currently serving patients within Cedar County Memorial Hospital/ Cedar County Health Department in El Dorado Springs, Missouri. With over 35 years of experience in nursing, she has worked in the emergency room, OB, medical/surgical, Cardiac Rehab, In Home Services and County Health as well as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. Jenean K. Ehlers gained her Nursing Degree in 1981 from the Burge School of Nursing in Springfield, Missouri. Since graduating she has completed a number of advanced training courses, and is certified in Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation by Hammons Heart Institute in Springfield. Jenean has a wealth of experience as a Registered Nurse and looks forward to using this experience as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. She stays current in her field by maintaining a professional membership with the National Association of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants, and has been awarded the 35 Year Pin by Cedar County Memorial Hospital marking three and a half decades of continuous and exceptional service. She attributes her success to her love of nursing, and when she is not working, Jenean enjoys quilting, sewing, gardening/ farming, cooking, and is also a beekeeper. Learn more about Jenean K. Ehlers here: http://inanurse.org/network/index.php?do=/4136261/info/ and be sure to read her upcoming publication in Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 21, 2017) - With a new $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute investigators are moving closer to their goal of developing a biological pacemaker that can treat patients afflicted with slow heartbeats. The novel, minimally-invasive gene therapy turns patients' normal heart cells into pacemaker cells that regulate heart function - potentially replacing electronic pacemakers one day. "Although implantable pacemakers have helped save millions of lives since they were invented in the 1960s, biological pacemakers could result in a healthier alternative," said Eugenio Cingolani, MD, the principal investigator in the project and the director of the Heart Institute's Cardiogenetics Program. "Devices can malfunction or become infected, while biological pacemakers avoid such complications." Specialized pacemaker cells are found naturally in the heart. This tiny cluster of cells generates electrical activity that spreads throughout the heart in an orderly pattern to create rhythmic muscle contractions -- heartbeats. But if pacemaker cells go awry, the heartbeats slow down, causing fainting or even sudden death. Patients with slow heartbeats who are healthy enough to undergo surgery often look to an electronic pacemaker as their only treatment option. As a practicing cardiac electrophysiologist, Cingolani has first-hand experience with heart rhythm devices and their limitations. He and his team of investigators are working toward delivering a gene directly to a patient's heart during a minimally invasive catheter-based procedure. The gene would then convert normal heart cells into pacemaker cells that keep the heart beating steadily. "In 2012, our team was the first to show that we can inject a single gene, called Tbx18, into a regular heart cell and turn that cell into a specialized pacemaker cell," said Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, co-principal investigator on the project and director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. "This new funding will help us complete long-term safety and efficacy data using clinical-grade gene delivery systems, hopefully leading to a clinical trial in which we can test the therapy in selected patients." The 2012 discovery was published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Biotechnology, and was followed by a study published in 2014 in Science Translational Medicine, which verified the 2012 study results. The human heartbeat originates in the sinoatrial node (SAN) of the heart's right upper chamber, where pacemaker cells are clustered. Of the heart's 10 billion cells, fewer than 10,000 are pacemaker cells, often referred to as SAN cells. Once reprogrammed by the Tbx18 gene, the newly created pacemaker cells - "induced SAN cells" or iSAN cells - have all key features of native pacemakers and maintain their SAN-like characteristics even after the effects of the Tbx18 gene fade, the Heart Institute research showed. According to Joshua Goldhaber, MD, director of Basic Research in the Heart Institute and the other co-principal investigator on the project, "We are achieving a form of biological alchemy: converting a small fraction of working muscle cells in the heart, which are plentiful, into rare pacemaker cells to sustain the heartbeat." Previous efforts to generate new pacemaker cells resulted in heart muscle cells that could beat on their own. Still, the modified cells were closer to ordinary muscle cells than to pacemaker cells. Other approaches employed embryonic stem cells to derive pacemaker cells. But the risk of contaminating cancerous cells is a persistent hurdle to realizing a therapeutic potential with the embryonic stem cell-based approach. The Cedars-Sinai team was able to create pacemaker cells that closely resemble the native ones free from the risk of cancer. If the upcoming safety studies are successful, Cingolani says the biological pacemaker could be tested in patients within the next five years. The grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in the National Institutes of Health is R01HL135866. The Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute is internationally recognized for outstanding heart care built on decades of innovation and leading edge research. From cardiac imaging and advanced diagnostics to surgical repair of complex heart problems to the training of the heart specialists of tomorrow and research that is deepening medical knowledge and practice, the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute is known around the world for excellence and innovations.


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 28, 2017) - The University of Ottawa Heart Institute has launched a new program for all patients waiting for coronary artery bypass surgery or heart valve replacement or repair. The program, called Cardiac PreHab, will help those patients to improve their health before a procedure. Cardiac rehabilitation, a comprehensive program to get patients healthy again after a heart attack, cardiac surgery or other cardiac events, has been shown to save lives. But the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) now wants to find out if patients waiting for non-emergency heart surgery could start improving their health before their procedure, and if this could make their recovery easier and improve their outcomes after surgery. Portions of the new program have been in place for a while: patients waiting for outpatient procedures who come in for pre-admission appointments have long been connected with services such as smoking cessation, physiotherapy or social work on an ad hoc basis. But the PreHab program now aims to standardize these assessments and referrals, and to make them as comprehensive as possible for all patients waiting for outpatient surgery. "Rather than letting the waiting period for a procedure be one of inactivity and anxiety, PreHab can use that time to help patients become as ready as possible for their procedure," said Heather Sherrard, Executive Vice President of Clinical Operations and Chief Nursing Officer at the Heart Institute. "They may need to quit smoking, their diabetes may need to be better managed, they may be able to improve their diet or level of exercise. The PreHab program can help with all those issues to get these patients as fit and healthy as they can be." "Patients have a lot of misconceptions about what they should be doing before surgery," explained Jane Brownrigg, Clinical Manager of Cardiac Rehabilitation. "We talk to patients waiting for surgery who say 'My doctor told me to take it easy,' and they've interpreted that as 'Just sit on the couch'. Many think they should go on a diet, she continues, which can actually cause muscle loss-an unwanted side effect before any procedure." As patients complete PreHab, data will be gathered to evaluate the program and it will be possible to see if patients who come to PreHab are more likely to also register into cardiac rehab. There is a very high rate of enrollment for rehab at the Heart Institute compared to other centres across the country, but still only a little above half of all eligible patients enroll. Increasing that number is vital as rehab reduces morbidity and mortality rates and this new program may contribute to this improvement. An image is available at the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/benefits-of-cardiac-rehabilitation.png


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

Hospital Internacional de Colombia implements a networking solution that upholds its standards for excellence SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwired - February 23, 2017) - One of the top five healthcare organizations in Latin America, Hospital Internacional de Colombia, has revitalized its network infrastructure with Avaya wired and wireless networking, gaining the speed, reliability and security needed for in a critical, round-the-clock healthcare organization. When time is of the essence, Avaya Fabric Connect in Hospital Internacional's data center delivers 40 Gb links and 10 Gb to the wiring closets, enabling medical records, images and other large files to rapidly traverse wired and wireless networks from origin to destination. Patient rooms are now equipped with new display units that enable care teams to have on-the-spot access and interaction with patient files, records and medical treatments. IT management benefits from streamlined, simplified operations that reduce the time and resources needed to make updates and changes, while increasing reliability by decreasing the potential for human error. In fact, wireless administration is so simple that the hospital brought it back in house from an outsourcer, reaping significant savings with great results. "We cannot stop. Service is provided 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Currently, critical hospital services run through the LAN and Wi-Fi networks on Avaya machines, and they comprise medical histories, files, biomedical equipment and imaging, as well as the administration of the Hospital Internacional de Colombia. Given the constant improvement and implementation of cutting edge technology at HIC, Avaya will always have a guest pass when it comes to participating in any development or implementation of new technology that permits us to perfect our processes, offer optimum services and guarantee high quality service to our patients." To learn more about Avaya Networking solutions at the Hospital Internacional de Colombia, read the case study here. The FCV is a non-profit health institution created in Bucaramanga, Colombia in 1986. Its goal is to provide excellent care, technological innovation and a high social awareness, offering its users and patients the best care and guaranteed high-quality health services. The Foundation has an ample ecosystem of hospital services in various areas of the country. Its Heart Institute is listed as one of the five best hospitals in Latin America whose level of excellence earned it the ISO 9001 certification for its services as well as the "Hospital without Pain" certificate. It represents the first Colombian Clinic awarded an international accreditation by The Joint Commission International. Recently, the Hospital Internacional de Colombia project became reality. It represents the largest private health complex in the country and one of the biggest in Latin America. www.fcv.org/site/ Avaya enables the mission critical, real-time communication applications of the world's most important operations. As the global leader in delivering superior communications experiences, Avaya provides the most complete portfolio of software and services for contact center and unified communications with integrated, secure networking -- offered on premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid. Today's digital world requires some form of communications enablement, and no other company is better positioned to do this than Avaya. For more information, please visit www.avaya.com. Certain statements contained in this press release may be forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "might," "plan," "potential," "predict," "should" or "will" or other similar terminology. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections. While we believe these are reasonable, such forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. These and other important factors may cause our actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. For a list and description of such risks and uncertainties, please refer to Avaya's filings with the SEC that are available at www.sec.gov. Avaya disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Follow Avaya on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and the Avaya Connected Blog.

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