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Nanotubes help healing hearts keep the beat

Mike Williams - September 23, 2014
 Rice University, Texas Children's Hospital patch for defects enhances electrical connections between cells

Carbon nanotubes serve as bridges that allow electrical signals to pass unhindered through new pediatric heart-defect patches invented at Rice University and Texas Children's Hospital.

A team led by bioengineer Jeffrey Jacot and chemical engineer and chemist Matteo Pasquali created the patches infused with conductive single-walled carbon nanotubes. The patches are made of a sponge-like bioscaffold that contains microscopic pores and mimics the body's extracellular matrix.

 Rice U researchers Seokon Pok, left, and Jeffrey Jacot

Living heart cells called ventricular myocytes cultured in nanotube-infused hydrogel beat in an experiment by Rice University and Texas Children's scientists, who are creating patches to repair pediatric heart defects. Courtesy of the Jacot Lab/Rice University

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