Can 'bubbles' help to treat heart problems?

26 March 2013

Researchers have created a radical new treatment for heart attacks involving bubbles.

A new study revealed that tiny bubbles, a fraction of a millimetre in diameter, can be injected in the area damaged following a cardiac event and targeted with sound waves fired through the chest, the Daily Mail Online reported.

This makes the bubbles expand by heating up a gas inside them and when the ultrasound is switched off they shrink. When the process is repeated rapidly, the bubbles 'dance' on the surface of the heart, releasing chemicals that help to create new blood vessels.

While researchers are currently unsure as to why this occurs, the therapy holds considerable potential for treating heart attack patients.

It is believed that by putting stress on the tissue, the heart feels under threat and releases growth chemicals to protect it, the newspaper revealed.

This improves blood supply to the heart muscles and can help to reduce the damage following a cardiac event that can leave it weakened.

However, further investigation will no doubt be needed before such a treatment can be rolled out to patients.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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