Researchers from the Bonn University Hospital in Germany have filed a patent application for a focused ultrasound method that reduces impairment of cardiac function after an acute heart attack. In the method, microbubbles are injected into the bloodstream following a heart attack. When the bubbles reach the heart, stimulation with focused ultrasound causes them to oscillate and ameliorate the muscle damage that normally occurs after cardiac arrest.
Although not yet ed in humans, the method was successfully used in a preclinical study in which the treatment cohort had less circulatory impairment than non-treated subjects. Consequently, the cohort experienced less heart muscle damage and less scar tissue formation. Although researchers have not determined the exact cause of their treatment success, data suggests that growth hormones significantly increased in the heart following focused ultrasound treatment. READ STUDY ABSTRACT
Support for the research came from the Medical Faculty of Bonn University’s BONFOR program and the German Heart Foundation. The patent application covers a novel ultrasonic probe developed in conjunction with Philips Healthcare. The probe, which enables a standardized impulse discharge in the heart, links together two ultrasound sources. The first operates at low frequency for microbubble stimulation and the second runs at high frequency and is used for imaging. READ BONN UNIVERSITY REPORT