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Browsing by Author "Saarela, Sanna"

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  • Saarela, Sanna (2020)
    Ischemic heart failure is the leading cause of death in the world. The disease is caused by coronary heart disease, in which the narrowed coronary arteries limit oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood from reaching the myocardial tissue. Obstructed arterial blood flow can cause myocardial necrosis and scarring. Scar tissue is non-contractile and poorly elastic. It can thus compromise the pumping capacity of the heart. Current medical and interventional therapies have only very limited efficacy to reduce myocardial scarring. Preclinical and clinical research efforts are underway to generate myocardial scar-reducing and regenerative therapies. In the field of cardiac cellular therapies, the delivery of cells has conventionally been based on intramyocardial injections. However, epicardial patches have been demonstrated to reduce scarring and promote myocardial healing. In addition to merely being a carrier or cover for the cellular transplant, the biomembrane of the patch can also be considered as an active element for the patch’s therapeutic activity. Thus, the properties of the biomembrane can have a major impact on both the cellular and the therapeutic tissue response. The aim of this Master's thesis was to build a standardized test set up to study the properties of the biomembrane. Biomembrane permeability to small (glucose, lactate) molecules and different size proteins was investigated. In addition, the set up was modified to enable the investigation of biomembrane properties on the survival of the grafted cells. Finally, the test set up was evaluated by studying the properties of ProxiCorTM, the biomembrane currently used together with autologous atrial micrografts (AAMs) in epicardial patch. As a result, the set up was successfully constructed and characterized. The ProxiCorTM membrane demonstrated permeability to both small molecules and proteins, and a stable pH was maintained across the membrane. ProxiCorTM enabled traverse serum-induced proliferation of cells compared to the control impermeable membrane. Taken together, these results prove the functionality of the test set up and thus support its further development.