"Smart bacteria" will take care of the rehabilitation in heart sufferers
Stanford University has designed a new technique that will be capable to restore the heart after a heart attack in the short term. According to BBC, scientists suggest to introduce bacteria that produce oxygen as a result of photosynthesis. Currently, the method was tested in rats. So, if a thrombus blocks a vessel, the heart experiences the oxygen starvation due to disturbed blood flow. But when a single-celled cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus capable of photosynthesis was implanted, it is possible to remove carbon dioxide and saturate the muscle cells in the heart with oxygen and sugar simultaneously.
It is known that a heart attack was imitated in the experimental rodents. Then cyanobacterium was injected into the heart. After that the heart muscle was exposed to light irradiation. The analysis has shown that after 10 minutes, the oxygen level in the hearts of rodents was significantly higher than in the control group and in those rats injected with cyanobacteria in the heart, but not exposed to light irradiation. After 45 minutes, the ventricular contractility in the first group was also improved.
What is important is that all procedures do not cause an immune response. It means that they were safe. However, there is a problem. This is an open heart surgery, which has many risks. Currently, scientists develop a method for the delivering of Synechococcus elongatus through veins and a method for irradiation without the thorax dissection. By the way, in addition to cardiology, the technique might change a transplantology because the bacteria will preserve donor organs.