Scientists create new Robotic Heart Implant that can make your heart beat forever
The world over, heart failure and cardiac arrest is a huge problem killing millions of people. Despite several devices and therapies involving 3d printed bionic devices are under constant study, the world is yet to see a commercial application to help those suffering from heart problems. However in a recent breakthrough a new heart soft robotic sleeve or heart implant holds promise to ensure hearts beat for a much longer time.
Researchers from Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital have now come up with a soft robotic sleeve that actually mimics heart muscles. The device has been successfully tested on pig’s hearts.
1 Innovative device mimics muscles of a human heart
The apparatus has been made from silicon. Lead author of the research study and Harvard doctoral candidate Ellen Roche has designed the innovative device that is being projected as having many advantages over current ventricular devices and implants. The device mimics movements of heart muscles twisting and turning as such allowing the heart to beat normally. It is specifically meant in conditions where the heart muscles have failed which is the most common condition leading to heart failure.
Till date several studies have found that the biggest problems with simiiar devices were heating up and the rigidity of the devices. In comparison the soft robotic sleeve uses soft pneumatic actuators powered by air surrounding the heart and acting like the outer cardiac muscles. The actuators twist and compress the sleeve achieving the same motion as a normal beating heart.
2 Initial animal tests successful
Tests done on pig hearts achieved success where researchers were able to even fine tune and synchronize the device for compatibility with surfaces and mechanics of different contractions. The device actually restored normal blood circulation in pigs that had experienced severe cardiac arrest.
What has encouraged researchers is the fact that the soft robotic sleeve can be adjusted and customized for individual patients. In some patients it could be a malfunction of the right or left ventricle and the device could be manipulated to conform to such adjustments.
3 No risks involved unlike current devices
The problem with current devices is the risk of clotting and stroke. The soft robotic sleeve instead eradicates such risks and is safe for a patient. As of now the research is still in its early stages and it may be a while till the device is made ready for human use.
Factors of attachment compatibility and durability have to be perfected till a human trial can be considered. However researchers are highly optimistic and hopeful that the soft robotic sleeve is the best device for future application helping people prone to cardiac arrest lead longer lives. Watch the video of the device in action.