February 2020
Vol 6, Issue 6

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Cardiovascular disease, which can lead to heart attacks, remains the leading cause of death. Stem cell therapy is a promising strategy for repairing heart tissue damaged by a heart attack or coronary artery disease (when arteries that supply blood to the heart become too narrow), but so far the development of this treatment has been limited by challenges with integrating and retaining new cells injected into the injured heart muscular tissue and with overcoming inflammation. To explore a novel approach that could both deliver therapeutic cells to the tissue and make the tissue more receptive upon their arrival, Li et al. fabricated platelet microparticles and equipped them with anti-interleukin (IL)-1β antibodies designed to block Interleukin (IL)-1β, which plays a central role in the inflammatory response triggered by a heart attack that causes further injury and makes it difficult for the tissue to heal. They found that the platelet microparticles could successfully bind to injured animal heart tissue, protecting heart muscle cells from cell death and inducing cardiac tissue repair. [CREDIT: THE CHENG LAB]