Repairing the heart
Myocardial infarction (MI) due to heart ischemia results in extensive fibrotic scar formation that reduces pump function eventually leading to heart failure, a major cause of death worldwide.
Particularly the Andersen group:
In contrast to mammals, zebrafish have an amazing capacity to regenerate their heart following MI through cardiomyocyte renewal. Our project REPHEART aims to dissect why the adult mammalian heart lost this ability to regenerate in order to identify targets for future MI regenerative therapy. For that we employ transgenic mice and zebrafish, heart models as well as human samples, and combine many different techniques (flow cytometry, single cell RNA sequencing, confocal imaging, in vitro primary cell culture and many others).
...identifies pericardial proteins controlling cardiac fibrosis after MI
Remodeling cardiac fibroblasts in MI are derived from the peri-/epicardium, which itself also secretes molecules involved in the fibrotic prcess. We use human pericardial tissue and fluid samples together with cadaver human hearts to identify candidate peri-/epicardial derived molecules. The candidates are then evaluated for their involvement in cardiac fibrosis using transgenic mouse heart disease models, pump function assessment (positron emission tomography (PET)), vessel trajectory tools (computer tomography (CT)), scar size histology, in vitro primary cell culture, etc.
...generates blood vessels for reperfusion after ischemia
Certain patient groups have limited graft material for bypass surgery. Our strategy in the BioVessel project is to use the patient’s own stem cells and grow them on decellularized or nanofiber based vascular scaffolds using a 3D-bioreactor. The vessels are then tested in vitro and in vivo; first test in large animals such as sheep and then it will be translated into the clinic. In this project, we have established a GMP cell therapy facility that will soon be open for clinical projects from across Denmark-please check-out the website and contact head of facility if you are interested.