Molecular and cellular mechanisms in the pathophysiology of heart failure

Our research also focuses on better understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cardiovascular diseases and congenital disease-related heart failure such as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).   For that purpose, we use animal models that closely mimic human cardiovascular/atherosclerotic conditions or cellular models including patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

Cardiac progenitor cells in heart regeneration:

The limited regeneration capacity of the adult mammalian heart increases the risk of heart failure that develops after cardiac damage. The expectation from the progenitor/stem cell-based therapy is that differentiation of the transplanted cells into specialized cardiac cells and/or trigger the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing repair via paracrine effect. But insufficient cell engraftment, late cardiac functional recovery are major concerns in this treatment method. 

Stem/progenitor cells also contribute to cardiac repair releasing extracellular vesicles which can lead to angiogenesis and tissue repair. In recent years there has been a huge interest on the using of stem/progenitor cell-derived extracellular vesicles due to their potential therapeutic applications.

We aim to increase transplantation effieciency of both cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) and cardiac progenitor cell-derived extracellular vesicles via different approaches.