The secret to "mending broken hearts" has been discovered by scientists examining ways of repairing damaged tissue after heart attacks. Injecting proteins similar to insulin directly into the heart can cause damaged cells to repair themselves and begin regenerating again, researchers said. Tests on pigs showed that the dormant cells could begin regrowth following a "regenerative medicine" treatment using certain growth factors naturally occurring proteins which cells use to communicate with their environment. Experts from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) said the four-year study presented a "significantly different" therapy to those currently being developed by scientists. The findings, produced with teams from Italy and Spain, could lead to simple and affordable treatments for heart attacks, they said. Dr Bernardo Nadal-Ginard, Director of LJMU Stem Cell & Regenerative Biology Unit, said approaches currently being pursued in clinical trials were "time consuming" and "expensive". He said: "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. "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." Telegraph