It looks like a real heart. And this is the goal of the first entirely soft artificial heart: to mimic its natural model as closely as possible. The silicone heart has been developed by Nicholas Cohrs, a doctoral student in the group led by Wendelin Stark, Professor of Functional Materials Engineering at ETH Zurich. The reasoning why nature should be used as a model is clear. Currently used blood pumps have many disadvantages: their mechanical parts are susceptible to complications while the patient lacks a physiological pulse, which is assumed to have some consequences for the patient.
“Therefore, our goal is to develop an artificial heart that is roughly the same size as the patient’s own one and which imitates the human heart as closely as possible in form and function,” says Cohrs. A well-functioning artificial heart is a real necessity: about 26 million people worldwide suffer from heart failure while there is a shortage of donor hearts. Artificial blood pumps help to bridge the waiting time until a patient receives a donor heart or their own heart recovers.
The soft artificial heart was created from silicone using a 3D-printing, lost-wax casting technique; it weighs 390 grams and has a volume of 679 cm3. “It is a silicone monoblock with complex inner structure,” explains Cohrs. This artificial heart has a right and a left ventricle, just like a real human heart, though they are not separated by a septum but by an additional chamber. This chamber is in- and deflated by pressurized air and is required to pump fluid from the blood chambers, thus replacing the muscle contraction of the human heart.
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A multidisciplinary research team at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center has discovered a new way to kill a tumor by disrupting its acidic "microenvironment" without harming normal tissue. The target of this [...]
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Researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience found that the superior colliculus, a brain region preserved throughout evolution, plays a more vital role in vision than previously believed. When we look at something, we [...]
Stefan Wilhelm, an associate professor in the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, and several students in his Biomedical Nano-Engineering Lab have recently published an article in the journal Nano Letters that outlines their [...]
Mass Eye and Ear physician-researchers show that retinal imaging can help predict a person’s risk of developing ocular, neuropsychiatric, cardiac, metabolic, and pulmonary diseases. The team also identified genetic loci associated with retinal thinning, [...]
Artificially intelligent software has been developed to enhance medical treatments that use jets of electrified gas known as plasma. The computer code predicts the chemicals emitted by plasma devices, which can be used to [...]
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