Every year hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer a heart attack, with no established treatment for repairing the resulting damage to cardiac tissue. Fortunately, the advent of a recent technological breakthrough in the world of cardiac medicine may soon change that.

Enter VentriGel – an injectable hydrogel that can form a scaffold around the damaged cardiac muscle and encourage the growth of healthy, new cardiac tissue. Once injected in damaged cardiac muscle, VentriGel forms a scaffold that acts as a reparative environment where healthy cells migrate, leading to increases in cardiac muscle, less scar tissue, and improvements in heart function. What’s more, the hydrogel can be easily injected into the heart muscle using a minimally invasive procedure that does not require surgery.

The team now plans a larger, randomized trial that will further evaluate the efficacy of the treatment.