In a new study, researchers have created a new sticky patch to help reduce damage after a heart attack.
This patch can provide support for damaged heart tissue and reduce the stretching of the heart muscle.
The research was conducted by a team from Brown University.
Previous research has shown that part of the reason that it’s hard for the heart to recover after a heart attack is that the heart has to keep pumping.
One solution for this is providing mechanical support for damaged tissue.
Although mechanical patches could be effective, it has been unknown what the optimum mechanical properties of such a patch might be.
Very hard material may confine the movement of the heart, and very soft material won’t provide enough support.
In the study, the team developed the new patch from a water-based hydrogel material.
They used computer simulations of heart function to fine-tune the material’s mechanical properties.
One part of the computer modeling was to model normal heart function—the expanding and contracting, and the second part was to model how the heart remodels after a heart attack.
This could show how much mechanical support was needed to prevent that process.
They then tested the patch on mice and found that the patch was effective in preventing left ventricle remodeling.
This is a stretching of the heart muscle that’s common after a heart attack. It can reduce the function of the heart’s main pumping chamber.
The team suggests that the material is not expensive and easy to make. It is also nontoxic. The experiments ultimately showed that it was effective in reducing post-heart attack damage.
They suggest that more testing is required, but the initial results are promising for eventual use in human patients.
One author of the study is Huajian Gao, a professor of engineering at Brown University.
The study is published in Nature Biomedical Engineering.
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