Ingenious new treatment could reduce heart attack damage

16 January 2014        

Lab test

Injections of microparticles could reduce the damage caused by a heart attack, according to new research.

heart attack starves your heart of blood and oxygen damaging the heart tissue. Part of the damage is also caused by the way the body reacts as it sends inflammatory cells to the affected area.

The researchers found that this effect could be reduced by injecting microparticles which bound with the inflammatory cells diverting them from the heart to the spleen where they would die.

Our Associate Medical Director, Professor Jeremy Pearson, said: “Using microparticles to divert circulating inflammatory cells to the spleen for harmless destruction is an ingenious novel strategy to reduce the damage these cells cause immediately after a heart attack.

“The possibility that this method could soon be tested in humans is encouraging, though considerably more work will need to be done to ensure the safety and efficacy of the procedure in humans before we will know whether the strategy can provide real benefits and be widely applied.”

We're also funding scientists to find new ways to prevent, treat and cure heart disease. Find out about the work they are doing to fight heart disease and how we need your help to do it.