Biophysics of the heart

Professor Constantine Agladze won the open competition of government megagrantov first. At the end of 2010 in his native Moscow Physical-Technical Institute, he opened a research laboratory "Nanokonstruirovanie membrane-protein complexes for the control of cell physiology," the main line of research which — tissue engineering of heart. Similar studies conducted Agladze in his laboratory at Kyoto University. Since April 2013, at the end of the contract with their Japanese counterparts, Agladze came to MIPT already fultaym. At the end of funding for laboratory support megagrantu took the MIPT.

How it all began

Laboratory had to start from scratch — while on PhysTech professionals profile for studies was not, for the direction of biotechnology and the "living systems" in high school just started to develop, so it took almost eight months to a tap organizational and logistical issues. As said Konstantin Agladze, "many had to break through the forehead."

Scientific equipment purchased abroad. Because studies were built on a network schedule, buy additional equipment — this summer were finally obtained two laminar flow hood (pure boxing) for tissue culture. Who laboratory in MIPT, according to the professor, is equipped with even better than the one he directed at Kyoto University.

"The laboratory, which we call each other Biophysics Laboratory of excitable systems, created by the American model. At a steady rate, except for me, three more people — my deputy, an engineer and a secretary. Experts in tissue culture and molecular biology come from the U.S. and Japan for two or three months. The main part of the team — it’s graduate students and 4-6-year students. Some of them, I drove to Kyoto, and they learn to work with the equipment. These 14 people are engaged in all research, "- says Konstantin Agladze.


There are established and practiced models of dangerous cardiac arrhythmias. Open methods allow scientists to better understand the fundamental biophysical mechanisms of arrhythmias and find ways to deal with them, to select effective drugs.

How to cure heart

"Our team is working on tissue culture with a controlled structure. The very heart — and anatomically, and as a result of micro-or heart attacks — patchy. So, to recreate models of excitation waves running on the heart, or a failure, as with tachycardia and fibrillation, need a structured tissue, the cells of which are functionally active, able to reduce. "We wove a normal tissue culture with polymer nanofibers. Their own produce and use as a template on which we plant tissue ", — says Konstantin Agladze. Nanofiber method of structuring a professor of cell tissue has developed, yet the laboratory at Kyoto University.

As one of the most promising materials for the proposal of Moscow scientists Vladimir Bogush and Igor Agapov is now used spidroin, the so-called spider protein. He, according to Agladze, "is very well suited for attachment of cardiac cells to the matrix and the formation of an excitable network, combining the properties of elasticity and strength. And all the mechanics grown tissue patches (patch) is not determined fibers and cells. "

Shown: Entries wave activity from tissue culture.

Creating a living patches of heart tissue opens up new possibilities for regenerative medicine. However, the conversations that almost tomorrow will be "darn heart", according to scientists, are premature — before that should be long-term clinical trials on animals. Experiments on rats, the hearts are transplanted patches team physicotechnical laboratory led jointly with physicians Kemerovo Cardiology center. They were successful — a patch on the hearts of rodents take root. Experiments should be continued scientists subcontractors, but, for example, in CARDIOCLINIC Bakulev Agladze developments are not interested.

Shown: nanofibers mesh with attached cardiac cells.

In addition to the studies conducted in Kyoto, it was found that the fabric of these animals intended for human drugs do not work. Therefore professor started growing cells of the human heart tissue pluripotent cells. This fabric can be seen which of antiarrhythmic drugs effective — by the way it affects the rotating vortices that lead to atrial fibrillation. "It is these studies we now put in the Physical-Technical Institute in collaboration with the laboratory Sergei Kiselyov from the Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences ", — said Konstantin Agladze.

In the field of cardiac tissue engineering has several research groups from different countries, but it is the "nanofiber matrix provides a versatile tool that corresponds to the structure of the heart — the cells to hold it firmly," says the professor.

In the future — with optimism is now a scientist develops a new idea that can attract the attention of Russian cardiologists — Reprogramming human dermal fibroblasts in pacemaker cells that have the properties pacemaker. Implants consisting of such cells to the damaged patches sinus node (the natural pacemaker of the heart) can restore normal heart rhythm. In this case, an artificial pacemaker — Pacemaker — may not be required.

Or another case, described by Constantine Agladze: "Imagine a situation where people need to cure the arrhythmia. Will have the opportunity to take his cell to grow out of them a test strip and see what medications will approach him with its specific genome, a set of ion channels. Patient-centered medicine in the coming years will be the global trend, "- seems so distant future scientist. However, the first treatment will be very expensive.

Prospects for the practical application of research professor connects with the advent of the MIPT single structure — the Centre of living systems, which will bring together all the work in the biomedical field: "It will include several laboratories, including my own, laboratories" Biobiznesinkubatora "created under the patronage of the Head of CHT "KhimRar", Head of the Chair of innovative pharmaceutical and biotechnology MIPT Andrey Ivashchenko, including those organized by the new megagrantam. As well as the laboratory of applied importance for biofarmklastera "Northern", organized on the basis of MIPT. " Constantine Agladze appointed director of the Center.

One of the problems to be solved by the staff of his scientific laboratory — to grow human heart cells in an amount such that an optical mapping could evaluate the effectiveness of different antioritmikov on the strength of their actions and cardiotoxicity.

"Cadres decide everything"

Wishing to work in the laboratory, according to the professor, more than is required, so there is an opportunity to select the most creative young researchers. "MIPT is still a powerful magnet for talented people — said Konstantin Agladze. — For example, the Nina Kudryashova,
bachelor’s performance has been at least a master’s level. It is the third year participated in laboratory experiments and computer simulations involved, and if it at the same rate can move forward by the end of the sixth year to prepare his thesis. Ivan Erofeev, which is now the third year of graduate school, he already puts bachelors specific tasks and keeps track of how they are resolved, although, of course, we had previously discussed areas of research. He even had to read for my semester of lectures when I was leaving for Japan. Speaking of scientific results in the field of Ivan fotokontrolya cardiac tissue, it has adapted to the digital projector ultraviolet light source, so that now we can control the computer excitation waves grown heart tissue. "

Ivan Erofeev: "The issue of the laboratory is well rested on the skills that I have acquired during the academic work at the undergraduate PTI"

Ivan Erofeev, who graduated from the Faculty of General and Applied Physics, MIPT, in a scientific laboratory Constantine Agladze attracted an element of creation:

"Here at the intersection of science to solve new and interesting scientific problem, biological objects are studied by physical methods. We cooperate with the chemists who synthesize new substances, and microbiologists from which to obtain the protein fibers.

The problems lie well on the lab skills learned during my research at the undergraduate PTI. So my current occupation was a logical extension of what I’ve done before, including bachelor’s and master’s work, which I had prepared on the basis of GosNIIgenetika and Russian Blokhin Cancer Center.

We create a cellular tissue of the heart on substrates with different properties. Depending on what we use fibers as they have, in cardiac tissue are new features. Although clinical trials have not been held, laboratory developments in the future may use the medicine. "

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