Researchers based at NUI Galway have helped develop an implantable device that could be used to deliver treatments directly to the parts of the heart impacted by cardiac arrest.

Existing methods to deal with the issue can be problematic, as the beating heart disperses treatments like drugs, proteins or stem cells.

This can cause toxic side effects and leads to a requirement for increased dosages.

The 'Therepi' device has been developed by researchers on both sides of the Atlantic.

It features an in-built reservoir that can be refilled with drugs or cells to directly target a specific area.

The device is placed under the skin to allow for localised, refillable, heart-targeted therapy delivery.

Pre-clinical trials have shown this method can increase heart function over a number of weeks, when stem cells are repeatedly delivered to the device reservoir.

The study was the result of a collaboration between Harvard, MIT and Boston Children's Hospital in the USA, and NUI Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin and AMBER, the Science Foundation Ireland funded materials science centre.