Research ArticleHEALTH AND MEDICINE

An innovative biologic system for photon-powered myocardium in the ischemic heart

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Science Advances  14 Jun 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 6, e1603078
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1603078

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  • RE: Response to Egaña Comment
    • Joseph Woo, Norman E. Shumway Professor and Chair, Stanford University School of Medicine

    We would like to take this opportunity to respectfully respond to Dr. Egaña’s recent communication. He and his group have made significant contributions to the scientific community with their work on photosynthetic strategies, and we sincerely applaud their accomplishments. To address Dr. Egaña’s primary concern, there was absolutely no mal-intent or purposeful omission of his group’s work. A PubMed search of  “photosynthesis” yields over 36,000 results, and a search of “photosynthesis AND ischemia” yields 5 results without Dr. Egaña’s work. Similarly, searches of  “photosynthesis AND cardiac”, “photosynthesis AND heart”, “photosynthesis AND myocardium”, “photosynthesis AND blood flow”, and “photosynthesis AND tissue oxygenation” do not result in Dr. Egaña’s publications. As a result, we are extremely grateful to Dr. Egaña for bringing his group’s work to our attention as it serves to further validate the science behind photosynthetic therapy. 

    While we appreciate Dr. Egaña’s research, we disagree with his recent correspondence. His claim that we represented our proposal of utilizing genetically modified photosynthetic organisms as a new approach is incorrect. Our introduction and discussion clearly state “genetically engineering S. elongatus to actively export glucose has been d...

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    Competing Interests: P
  • RE: Response to: ‘’An innovative biologic system for photon-powered myocardium in the ischemic heart” by Cohen et al.
    • Tomás Egaña, Director Lab. Symbiotic Medicine and Regeneration, Institute for Biological and Medical Engineering Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

    I write this letter to express my great concern in regards to the recently published article titled, “An innovative biologic system for photon-powered myocardium in the ischemic heart” by Cohen et al. Although the concept of this article is compelling and overall findings reported are promising, I must seriously dispute the innovative value and novelty the authors are claiming with their approach. Case in point being that my group has not only previously published articles on the use of photosynthetic therapies, but has also patented the methods of use thereof. I therefore kindly request that the authors add a corrigendum with citations to our work in respect to the aspects highlighted below.


    My research group at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, which has since been moved to the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, has written the following articles and patents with our most recent work proposing the use of photosynthetic therapy for the treatment of tissue ischemia:


    2011: Patent (WO2011116936 A1) Use of photosynthetic scaffolds in tissue engineering (Granted).

    2014: Hopfner U, et al. Development of photosynthetic biomaterials for in vitro tissue engineering. Acta Biomaterialia; 10 (6): 2712-2717.

    2015: Alvarez M, et al. Generation of Viable Plant-Vertebrate Chimeras. PLoS ONE;10(6):e0130295.

    2015: Schenk TL, et al. Photosynthetic biomaterials: A pathway towards autotro...

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    Competing Interests: P