Australian scientists get a new breakthrough in the treatment of heart disease

Published 17 January 2014, 12:12 AEST

Researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia say a new study shows that they have achieved a potential breakthrough in the treatment of heart disease. They have successfully reduced the inflammation in mice after a heart attack. They are scheduled to start human clinical trials at the end of this year.

Scientists in Sydney said they used a material that has been under the eyes of surgeons for decades. When experimenting on mice, the researchers successfully used a microparticle that can degrade medical surgical sutures. This approach can reduce the chance of inflammation after heart surgery.

A study published on Friday showed that the use of such microparticles reduced the scars of the experimental mice after surgery and strengthened their heart function.

Tom Nightingale said that when a person has a heart attack, his muscles are damaged by the inflammatory cells that rush to the deoxygenation zone. He said that they injected the microparticles into the blood of the experimental mice.

He said that they originally hoped that this kind of microparticles could prevent inflammatory cells from entering the deoxygenated area, thereby reducing scars, but the result was that this kind of microparticles also enhanced the function of the heart. Nightingale said that some smaller necrotic muscles can almost return to normal levels. Those with extensive muscle necrosis may be rescued without death.

Nightingale said they are scheduled to begin human clinical trials in Sydney at the end of this year.