Houston Matters

Local Researchers Work On New Ways To Look At The Human Heart

When you have a heart attack, cells inside the heart are irreparably damaged. But researchers here in Houston have come up with some new technology that might someday change that.

There are many ways to look inside the body, and while non-invasive procedures tend to be the most optimal for patients, there are limitations to the current technologies that limit the effectiveness of those methods. Such is the case for the human heart, where imaging techniques can show activity but not the details of tissue. For that, you need to actually open the organ with an incision and go inside or use fiber optics to look through the blood vessels.

But those limitations might be about to change thanks to a new method developed by University of Houston researcher Kirill Larin.

Dr. Larin has repurposed an imaging test for that’s normally used on the eye and is using it on the heart. It allows for a detailed picture of heart tissue, particularly in the case of heart attack victims.

Larin is working with Dr. James F. Martin from Baylor College of Medicine to use this technology to potentially learn how to repair damaged tissue in the heart.

Houston Matters producer Joshua Zinn talks with both researchers about their work and the prospects for the future of this technique.