TINY beads which can mend a broken heart have been developed in a British lab.
The revolutionary microspheres are injected into the heart and release stem cells which then repair damaged tissue.
It is the first time stem cells have been delivered effectively to the heart which would otherwise reject them.
Experts hope the treatment will one day cure heart failure, which affects 920,000 people in the UK.
Researcher Daniel Stuckey, of University College London, said: “Our technology provides a new way of ensuring that the cells injected into the heart are working as they should.
“We hope this research will give us the information essential for making stem cell therapy a realistic treatment for people with heart disease.”
Doctors have tried to use stem cells to repair hearts for years but have struggled to get them to the organ before the body flushes them out.
Most read in Health News
Covid surge tests EXTENDED as Indian variant soars but vaccines keep deaths low
'Glastonbury-style' rush sees NHS website crash as over 25s swamp site
New Covid symptoms linked to Indian variant including GANGRENE and hearing loss
UK is only country in Europe where Covid cases are surging, grim graph reveals
LONG WAY OUT
UK won't be safe from Covid variants until 80% of globe gets jab, say WHO
Millions of Brits in 20s can book their Covid jab TODAY – here's how
The microspheres allow them to arrive intact.
They are engineered from biological material and break down quickly, leaving behind the cells which regenerate damaged tissue.
Professor Metin Avkiran, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Breakthroughs like this provide light at the end of the tunnel for the hundreds of thousands living with debilitating heart failure.”