Injecting proteins similar to insulin directly into the heart can cause damaged cells to repair themselves and begin regenerating again, says a new study.
Researchers from the Liverpool John Moores University conducted tests on pigs, revealing that the dormant cells could begin re-growth following a 'regenerative medicine' treatment using certain growth factors - naturally occurring proteins which cells use to communicate with their environment.
According to them, injecting growth factors IGF-1 and HGF causes significant 'anatomical, histological and physiological' regeneration of the damaged hearts.
Dr Bernardo Nadal-Ginard, Director of LJMU Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Unit, said that approaches currently being followed in clinical trials were 'time consuming' and 'expensive'.
"It is unlikely that they will have a major impact on the treatment of life-threatening diseases affecting millions of people, such as heart disease and failure," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
"In contrast, this new approach by LJMU could ultimately lead to a clinical myocardial regenerative therapy which is effective, simple, affordable, readily and widely available and easy to apply and compatible with the current clinical standard of cardiac care," he added.