Getting damaged heart regeneration to keep the beat

Dr. Chuck Murry and his team of scientists at UW Medicine’s Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine believe they’ve created a smoother path to a solution for people suffering from heart failure.

The triumph: calming a troubling trend of engraftment arrhythmia, or a rapid racing of a patient’s heart, that arose in some animals after receiving reimplanted muscle cells. The ultimate goal of adding these cells is to build up the strength of a heart following a heart attack, in hopes of fending off heart failure from following.

“This problem of engraftment arrhythmia has been the major hurdle we've been trying to overcome on route to clinical trial,” says Murry.

This solution will still need to be tested and reviewed before it can reach the clinical trial stage, but Murry believes the discovery will ultimately lead to a better product for the people who need it the most.

“When we take this into patients, we think we will have gotten rid of probably the biggest risk,” says Murry.

UW Medicine