News and commentary about the Great Frontiers

ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) --- This view of Earth's horizon as the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean was taken by an Expedition 7 crewmember onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Anvil tops of thunderclouds are also visible. Credit: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Image Credit: ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) – Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

NanoBio 2007 Day One Speaker: Dr. Behrooz Dehdashti


Dr. Behrooz Dehdashti has a Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Biology and is currently a senior research analyst at the University of Arizona. He is working on the development of the Syncardia Total Artificial Heart.

Dehdashti said that advanced complex atherosclerotic coronary artery disease is a therapeutic challenge, poorly treated by angioplasty and bypass surgery. Many options have been used to treat this condition, but the major problems include rejection by the body and degenerative issues. Dehdashti outlined the many different therapies that have been in use or that are being tested right now, and the challenges that they pose to the affected person, taking special care to outline scar density due to various therapies.

Transmyocardial channeling, which is performed via catheter, may be readily performed and is apparently feasible according to research conducted by Dehdashti and his team. This entails drilling little holes within the heart muscle, and allowing the heart to sprout new blood vessels via angiogenesis around nano-tubes that are placed in strategic areas. Angiogenesis would be stimulated by the injection of various growth factors and polymers. With the advent of nanotech, the polymers used in this therapy may become readily available, therefore making this area of research viable in the real world. This model has in fact been performed in four human patients to date. The criteria for approving the patient required at least one included vessel and much chest pain. Dr. Dehdashti said “Mechanical TMC combined with a sixty day period of myocardial healing provides significant protection to the LV myocardium in the setting of acute ischemic challenge.”

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