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Heart-on-chip: improved treatment of cardiac arrhythmia

In collaboration with the Dutch Heart Foundation (Nederlandse Hartstichting), Verena Schwach has initiated a crowd funding campaign.  

To reduce the number of cardiac arrests, brain infarcts and heart failure and to even prevent them from occurring in the future as much as possible. That is the aim of the study ‘Growing hearts on a chip’. UT researcher Verena Schwach hopes to discover new and personalised medication for improved treatment of cardiac arrhythmia. In order to start her research, 25,000 euros is needed, which she hopes to raise by means of a crowd funding campaign.

In the Netherlands, almost 400,000 people live with atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac dysrhythmia. The impact of cardiac arrhythmia is great, possibly leading to a heart attack, brain infarct or a cardiac arrest. With all the consequences that will entail.

Growing Myocardial Cells on a Chip

In her current research, Verena Schwach uses generic stem cells to grow living heart muscle cells on a chip. Schwach: “We create silicone chips in our lab. On these chips, we grow living myocardial cells and use stimuli to induce a cardiac dysrhythmia. Subsequently, we conduct further research on what medication can stop these disorders.”

Personalised medicine

In her new research, Verena hopes to use stem cells of patients. This allows the growing of actual living heart muscle cells of a patient and the possibility to research what medication and treatment works best for the patient in question. "It is my goal to find personalised medication in order to improve treatment of cardiac dysrhythmia and to prevent its serious consequences.”

Do you make a difference?

Schwach: "Preparations for this research have already been made since 2012. My mother has the cardiac dysrhythmia 'atrial fibrillation' and I see how much this affects her life. As a result of my research, I hope to discover new treatments and medication to combat cardiac dysrhythmia and its devastating consequences. Will you help make my research possible?"

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J.C. Vreeman (Jochem)
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