This Revolutionary Robotic Heart Sleeve Makes A Failing Heart Beat Again!

Admin | Published 2017-01-19 19:58
Researchers from Harvard have invented a soft robotic device that fits around the heart and helps it beat again. Its valuable feature boasts that no blood contact is required which can eliminate the patient's risk of blood clot and stroke. Ventricular assist devices (VADs) have been helping patients get through treatments, or simply survive after suffering heart failures. These devices pump blood from the ventricles into the aorta, particularly during heart transplant.

Ellen Roche/Harvard University

Researchers at the Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital created a heart assist device that bypasses blood contact by using silicone sleeve that fits around the heart. It has soft pneumatic actuators placed around the heart mimicking the outer muscle layers of mammalian heart.

The external pump that powered the device used air to power the actuators. The device, with its soft robotic sleeve used compression method to generate heartbeat and augment cardiovascular functions weakened by heart failure.

Ellen Roche/Harvard University

“This research demonstrates that the growing field of soft robotics can be applied to clinical needs and potentially reduce the burden of heart disease and improve the quality of life for patients,” said Ellen T. Roche, a former Harvard PhD student who is the first author of the paper published in Science Translational Medicine. Conor Walsh, the senior author of the paper added, “This work represents an exciting proof of concept result for this soft robot, demonstrating that it can safely interact with soft tissue and lead to improvements in cardiac function. We envision many other future applications where such devices can delivery mechanotherapy both inside and outside of the body." Mechanotherapy is the employment of mechanical means for the cure of disease.
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