Such dysfunction requires the implantation of an artificial electronic pacemaker to correct the dysfunction of the natural pacemaker mechanism using electrodes inserted into various areas of the heart. But such electrical pacemakers have a myriad of limitations, including an invasive surgical procedure, danger of infection, a lack of hormonal sensitivity and a limited duration of activity (due to limited battery life). And when it comes to treating children, whose hearts are still growing, an electrical pacemaker does not adapt itself to the gradual increase in cardiac volume. One of the most promising future alternatives to electrical pacemakers is the biological pacemaker strategy, based on the use of cells that are functionally similar to natural pacemaker cells. The team from the Technion, Rambam, and the University Health Networks McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine used knowledge learned in the field of developmental biology to develop a differentiation protocol for the creation of pacemaker cells from human embryonic stem cells. The pacemaker generated from embryonic stem cells exhibits the molecular, electrical and functional properties characteristic of human pacemaker cells, said Prof. Gepstein. It is an effective and promising alternative to natural pacemaker cells in the event of their dysfunction. This development is significant both in terms of research – because it will enable scientists to study the heart in new ways, and in practical terms – since we are presenting an assembly line here for an unlimited reservoir of pacemaker cells to treat patients with heart rhythm problems. To demonstrate the potential future clinical use of the cells as biological pacemakers, experiments were conducted in the Gepstein laboratory on rats. Pacemaker cell transplants restored normal heart rhythm in 6 of the 7 rats that were tested. We have previously demonstrated the concept of biological pacemakers, but until now the cells we used contained a mixture of pacemaker cells with other heart cells, said Prof.
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Credit: Image courtesy of University at Buffalo Vinisha Ranna, BDS, lead author and certified stress and rescue scuba diver, swims near underwater wreckage in Sri Lanka. helpful siteCredit: Image courtesy of University at Buffalo Close Scuba divers may want to stop by their dentist’s office before taking their next plunge. A new pilot study found that 41 percent of divers experienced dental symptoms in the water, according to new research from the University at Buffalo. Due to the constant jaw clenching and fluctuations in the atmospheric pressure underwater, divers may experience symptoms that range from tooth, jaw and gum pain to loosened crowns and broken dental fillings. Recreational divers should consider consulting with their dentist before diving if they recently received dental care, says Vinisha Ranna, BDS, lead author and a student in the UB School of Dental Medicine. “Divers are required to meet a standard of medical fitness before certification, but there are no dental health prerequisites,” says Ranna, who is also a certified stress and rescue scuba diver. “Considering the air supply regulator is held in the mouth, any disorder in the oral cavity can potentially increase the diver’s risk of injury. A dentist can look and see if diving is affecting a patient’s oral health.” The study, “Prevalence of dental problems in recreational SCUBA divers,” was published last month in the British Dental Journal. interview medical schoolThe research was inspired by Ranna’s first experience with scuba diving in 2013. Although she enjoyed being in the water, she couldn’t help but notice a squeezing sensation in her teeth, a condition known as barodontalgia. She created an online survey that was distributed to 100 certified recreational divers.
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