Article/Publication | -
Synthetic recovery of impulse propagation in myocardial infarction via silicon carbide semiconductive nanowires
Organization: Università degli Studi di Parma, IMEM-CNR di Parma, Humanitas Res. Hospital di Milano

Synthetic recovery of impulse propagation in myocardial infarction via silicon carbide semiconductive nanowires

Lagonegro P., et al., NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | (2022)13:6

A five year study, born from an idea of researchers at IMEM-CNR and the collaboration with colleagues from University of Parma and Humanitas Res. Hospital in Milan, demontrated the effectiveness of silicon carbide nanowires to treat myocardial infarction in rats.
In fact, it has been observed that in a few hours electrical conduction is restored in infarcted regions of the heart where these semiconductive nanowires are injected. The research results, published in Nature Communications, now provide the starting point for an innovative approach to the treatment of the acute phase of myocardial infarction, which today still has a very high mortality rate (up to 30%).
The perspective of this nanomedicine strategy is to allow doctors, in the next future, to overcome the limitations of the currently used clinical approaches, such as the bypass surgery (that does not modify the electrical conduction blocks in the infarcted area from which fatal arrhythmias can originate) and the use of conventional and non-conventional therapies that require a long recovery time for the electrical functionality.

The research was carried out by a multidisciplinary team, within which IMEM researchers (Francesca Rossi, Giancarlo Salviati, Franca Bigi, with Paola Lagonegro and Martina Quaretti) provided the relevant materials science skills for the synthesis and use of silicon carbide nanowires. IMEM has many years of experience on these nanosystems, which are grown in the institute's laboratories by a CVD method developed by Dr. Giovanni Attolini.
The research on the biocompatibility of these nanowires and their effectiveness for biomedical applications started at IMEM in 2013 under the coordination of Giancarlo Salviati, with BioNiMed project. This project opened the collaboration with the chemists and biologists of the University of Parma, including Professor Miragoli who supervised the recent in vitro and in vivo cardiological studies.

Representative bright-field SEM (left) and TEM (right) images of SiC-NWs detached from the substrate (n = 50 experiments repeated with similar results