View Full Version : KGI Professor Awarded Patent For Stem-Cell Therapy Aiding Heart-attack Patients

10-07-2011, 02:07 PM
Medical News Today
Article Date: 06 Oct 2011

Professor Ian Phillips of Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) and a former KGI research professor have been awarded a patent for a novel procedure that involves stem cells in the recovery of heart-attack patients.

The patent covers a two-step process developed by Phillips and Yao Liang Tang, MD, that makes it possible to produce large numbers of pure stem cells for transplantation into the heart or other tissue.

"It's a step towards therapy," said Phillips, PhD, KGI's Norris Professor of Applied Life Sciences.

The use of cardiac stem cells helps restore heart tissue damaged by heart attacks and heart failure.

Previous methods for producing such stem cells required long exposure to digestive enzymes to separate the stem cells, which grow in clumps. But the enzymes allowed fibroblasts, cells that have no heart-pumping action, to grow and contaminate the cell culture, making the stem cells useless for heart repair.

Phillips and Tang, now at the University of Cincinnati, invented a procedure that does not require enzymatic digestion. In the first step, cardiac cells from a biopsy are grown in a culture and identified by a stem-cell marker. In the second step, the marked cells are isolated by cell sorting and grown in isolation to increase their number.

"We designed it as an improvement on the existing method by getting rid of the fibroblasts," said Phillips, who now has four patents and three other applications pending.

He and Tang have applied for a separate patent to apply the two-step process to all kinds of adult stem cells.