Scientists at Polyheal, in Nesher, Israel, think microscopic plastic beads could heal chronic foot ulcers and other sores that might otherwise lead to amputation. Polyheal’s treatment consists of polystyrene microspheres-each just a few micrometers in diameter-in a vitamin-amino-acid-and-salt mixture patients can spread on their own wounds at home. Company founder and biophysicist Vladimir Ritter stumbled across the beneficial effect of polystyrene microspheres in the course of unrelated research. In early human studies, Polyheal’s mixture sped the healing of foot ulcers that had not responded to other treatments. Polyheal has received certification to market the treatment in the European Union, and by midyear it should be ready to publish results of Israeli and German clinical trials. The company is looking for partners for production and worldwide distribution.