Seaweed gel helps ailing hearts


Tel Aviv: Iraeli scientists have made a gel from brown seaweed that can help heart attack sufferers survive.

The liquid gel is injected onto the area damaged by an attack. Then it solidifies, allowing a thick laywer of scar tissue to grow.This helps the heart to continue working normally.

Usually the repair scar tissue is too thin and can lead to more attacks and heart failure.

So far tests have only validated the gel on animals. In trials, 90 per cent of animals injected with the gel survived a heart attack compared to just 40 per cent who received no treatment at all.

Human trials have started in Germany, Belgium and Israel. Experts hope the substance could become available by 2011.

The gel, which is made from ordinary brown seaweed, is injected into the heart using a catheter fed through a vein in the groin.