Injecting the heart with a hydrogel could prevent heart failure after a heart attack, according to research.
Researchers mixed protein inhibitors into a form of gelatine and injected the gel into the hearts of adult pigs following a heart attack. The gel dissolved into the injured heart tissue, slowly releasing the inhibitors, and reduced heart failure in the animals.
By targeting only the tissue needing treatment and releasing the drug in a slow, consistent manner, researchers claim the hydrogel approach may be more effective and cause fewer side effects than current heart failure medications.
Our Associate Medical Director, Professor Jeremy Pearson, said: “This small study in pigs suggests that injecting a specific protein within a gel may lower chances of heart failure after a heart attack.
“These results have potential to translate into treatment for patients. If further studies are successful, the technology could be used for people having bypass surgery after a heart attack.
“However, it’s important we remember that it is still early days for this approach. Future clinical studies are needed to show whether the hydrogel treatment is safe and beneficial.”