Scientist Invents Mini Hearts to Help Return Venous Blood

Posted on April 6, 2014

A George Washington University scientist has invented a new organ, dubbed a mini heart, to help return blood flow from veins lacking functional valves. The organ was invented by George Washington University (GW) researcher Narine Sarvazyan, Ph.D. A rhythmically contracting cuff made of cardiac muscle cells surrounds the vein and acts as a 'mini heart' to aid blood flow through venous segments. Sarvazyan says the cuff can be made using a patient's own adult stem cells.

Sarvazyan says in the announcement, "We are suggesting, for the first time, to use stem cells to create, rather than just repair damaged organs. We can make a new heart outside of one’s own heart, and by placing it in the lower extremities, significantly improve venous blood flow."

A mini hearts treatment could help battle chronic venous insufficiency. It could also help with sluggish venous blood flow in people suffering from diabetes and paralysis as well as people recovering from surgery. Take a look:

A research paper was published here in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutic.

More from Science Space & Robots