There may well be
a few broken hearts this Valentine's Day, but researchers at the MARCS
Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development believe they have the answer.
successfully created a new flexible polymer patch that attaches to live heart
tissue and improves the conduction of electrical impulses across a damaged
heart without the need for stiches.
patch, which has been shown to work in rats, is long lasting and has the
significant advantage in that it can be stuck directly onto the heart using a
patented technique developed by Western Sydney University researcher for the
MARCS Institute , Dr Antonio Lauto.
involves shining a green laser on to the patch, which was developed from
naturally sourced materials, to bond it with live tissue.
Dr Lauto said
although the technique seemed simple, it involved complex design and
conducting polymer patch adopts a non-invasive treatment option to address a
number of complications that arise after a heart attack," he said.
patch is a medical breakthrough in that it is stable and retains its
conductivity in physiological conditions for more than two weeks, compared with
the usual one day of other patches.
that follow a heart attack, including scarring that slows down and disrupts the
conduction of electrical impulses across the heart (and can lead to potentially
fatal disturbances of the heart rhythm) can be addressed using this patch."
The patch is now
being tested in a larger animal model to confirm the beneficial effects on the
Upon completion of
this trial, the patch will be modified to address current limitations, such us
slow degradation and possible foreign body reaction.
It is estimated
that the patch will be ready for human trials within three to five years.This
work is an international collaboration under the leadership of Dr Damia Mawad
and Professors' Sian Harding, Molly Stevens and Cesare Terracciano from the
Imperial College London.
For more information, contact Farah Abdurahman on (02) 9772 6695 / 0427945 382 / F.Abdurahman@westernsydney.edu.au
13 February 2017