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Creating new tissue instead of transplanting hearts: At the Vienna University of Technology substances have been developed which allow to create fully functional heart cells.

Grazed skin grows back quickly, dead heart tissue does not. This is why a cardiac arrest often leads to severe long term problems. At the Vienna University of Technology, chemical substances have been developed, which turn the body’s own progenitor cells into functioning, beating heart cells. This discovery could open the door to a new kind of regenerative medicine.

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Beating Heart Cells in the Lab
Embryonic stem cells can develop into any kind of tissue. Adult stem cells can still turn into different kinds of cells, but their differentiation potential is significantly reduced. “The mechanisms influencing the differentiation of stem cells into tissues are still far from being understood”, says Professor Marko Mihovilovic (Vienna University of Technology). However, his research group has now managed to synthesize substances which control the differentiation process. Progenitor cells can be turned into heart cells, which eventually start beating in the petri dish.

“Various substances are known to influence the development of heart tissue. We have systematically synthesized and tested substances with cardiogenic potential”, says Thomas Lindner, PhD-student at the Vienna University of Technology. The tailored chemicals are then tested on the progenitor cells of mice at the Medical University of Vienna. “The new triazine derivatives we are using are much more efficient at turning the stem cells into heart cells then any other substances ever tested before”, says Marko Mihovilovic. The team at the Vienna University of Technology has already patented the new method.

Construction Kit for Molecules
The key advantage of the method developed at the Vienna University of Technology is its flexibility. “Our modular synthetic strategies are a bit like playing with LEGO bricks. A very high degree of complexity can be achieved by assembling very simple building blocks”, says Marko Mihovilovic. Many different variations of the substances can be produced without having to develop new synthetic methods for each substance.

On the Verge of New Medicine
Now the goal is to turn this pharmacological tool into a pharmaceutical drug for humans. “It is crucial to unveil the exact mode of action. We want to know on a molecular level, how our triazine derivatives influence the cell development”, says Mihovilovic.

“We want to open the door to a completely new kind of regenerative medicine”, Marko Mihovilovic hopes. “At the moment, transplant medicine dominates, but it would be much better to create tissue in the lab, with the patient’s own DNA, so that the danger of tissue rejection is completely eliminated.”

Not only the differentiation of stem cells to tissues can be influenced by chemical signals. It is also possible to go the opposite way and turn differentiated cells back into pluripotent cells, which can turn into different kinds of tissues. “Our vision is to take cells which are easy to extract, such as skin cells, and to treat them with a cocktail of different chemicals, creating new tissue”, says Mihovilovic. Synthetic chemistry will help to overcome the problem that heart tissue regenerates so poorly. If the therapy can used for humans, the patients’ quality of life could be increased dramatically, and health care cost could be reduced.

Austria’s Patents of the Year
The research group’s scientific success was how honored by the Austrian patent office: Marko Mihovilovic and his team received one of the INVENTUM-Awards (second place) for Austria’s patents of the year. “We are very happy to receive this award for our first big step on the way to taylor made heart tissue. We hope to continue on this path with ongoing success”, says Marko Mihovilovic.

imagen video
Heart attack
Heart failure

Heart to heart
Pena, desazón
Acidez de estómago
El corazón deja de funcionar correctamente o se para
Conversación íntima y sincera
To have a heart of gold
To take everything to heart

From the bottom of one’s heart
To be in god heart
To put your heart into something
With the heart in the mouth
To do (something) in a heartbeat

To follow one's heart
ser una persona muy amable
tomarse todo a “pecho” (tomarse todo muy en serio)
de todo corazón (de buena gana)
sentirse feliz
hacer algo con mucho esfuerzo
sentirse muy nervioso o asustado
hacer algo inmediatamente si tienes oportunidad
actuar según tus sentimientos

“Various substances are known to influence the development of heart tissue. We have systematically synthesized and tested substances with cardiogenic potential”, says Thomas Lindner, PhD-student at the Vienna University of Technology.

The passive voice is used when focusing on the person or thing affected by an action or when we do not know the active subject. The Passive is formed: Passive Subject + To Be + Past Participle
-The house was built in 1989.
-100 people are employed by this company

- He was killed with a gun.

Normally we use by to introduce the passive object. But the gun is not the active subject. The gun did not kill him. He was killed by somebody with a gun. In the active voice, it would be: Somebody killed him with a gun. The gun is the instrument. Somebody is the "agent".

We can form the passive in any tense. To form the required tense, we put the auxiliary verb (to be) in the same tense as the main verb in active voice and the main verb is always in its past participle form.
- My bike was stolen.
- Rita will write a letter.
- The thieves have not been caught .

Impersonal passive is not as common in English as in some other languages. It is only possible with verbs of perception (e. g. say, think, know).
-It is said that women live longer than men.

Common mistakes and confusing words in English.

Trainee Vs Trainer
A trainee is a person who is learning and practising the skills of a particular job.
- There is a shortage of trainee dentists in the UK.

A trainer is a person who teaches skills for a particular job, activity or sport.
- I like to think of myself as an English trainer, not an English teacher.

Personal Vs Personnel
Personal is an adjective.
- It can mean relating to or belonging to someone.
Your personal belongings are the things that belong to you.
It can relate to the private parts of someone's life, including their relationships and feelings.
If you have personal problems, it means you have problems that are private and sensitive to you. Perhaps problems in a relationship.
- It can also mean something that is designed for or used by one person.
A personal computer or stereo.
- It can relate to your body
When talk about personal hygiene.

! If you are rude about or offensive towards someone it could be said that you are being personal.

Personnel is a noun.
- The people who work for an organisation are the personnel.
Military personnel are the members of an army.
The department of an organization that deals with finding people to work there, keeping records about them, etc is the Personnel Department. The head of that department is the personnel manager.
I need to speak to someone in Personnel.

! Many businesses have renamed their Personnel Department to 'The Human Resources Department' or HRD for short.
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