Forget bandaids! What if we could heal… from the inside OUT?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Some tissues in our bodies are harder to fix after they’ve been damaged. Take heart tissue, for instance. After a heart attack, our bodies try to fix damaged tissue by forming a scar. But, this scar gets in the way of our heart’s job – pumping blood! Is there a better way to patch ourselves up?  

Martin Spang and team from University of California San Diego investigated.

First, they created a gel grid from heart muscle tissue. Then, they injected it into damaged tissue in animals after a heart attack. They found that the scaffold binds to – and fills in – the gaps between leaky cells. This helped blood vessels heal faster and reduced inflammation!

The scientists showed that this biogel also works in the brain and lungs. They think that this is a starting point for healing tissues from the inside out!

I can heart-ly wait! 


Spang, M. T., Middleton, R., Diaz, M., Hunter, J., Mesfin, J., Banka, A., Sullivan, H., Wang, R., Lazerson, T. S., Bhatia, S., Corbitt, J., D’Elia, G., Sandoval-Gomez, G., Kandell, R., Vratsanos, M. A., Gnanasekaran, K., Kato, T., Igata, S., Luo, C., … Christman, K. L. (2022). Intravascularly infused extracellular matrix as a biomaterial for targeting and treating inflamed tissues. Nature Biomedical Engineering. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41551-022-00964-5