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The Regeneration Game

Biodegradable microsphere offers hope for repairing tissue damaged by heart attack

03 August 2021

The Regeneration Game

It may only be a quarter of a millimetre wide, but this specially engineered biodegradable microsphere could be the key to repairing the damage caused by loss of blood flow to heart muscle during a heart attack. Because the heart only has a limited ability to repair itself, this damage leads to an increased risk of heart failure. Researchers are now testing whether microspheres packed with lab-grown heart muscle cells can be delivered directly into the heart to repair any damage. Nearly a million people in the UK are affected by heart failure – a figure that’s rising as more people than ever are surviving a heart attack. More research is needed to ensure that these tiny microspheres are a safe and effective treatment for people who have had a heart attack, but they offer hope that we may be able to help heal their broken hearts in the future.

Written by Kat Arney

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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