Kevin Lee

Next Generation Membrane Pacemakers Wrap the Heart Like an Electronic Glove

by , 07/18/14

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Washington University, St. Louis, heart membrane, rabbit heart, high-resolution imaging, computer modeling, 3D printer, 3D printing, pacemaker, cardiology, cardiovascular system, implantable defibrillators, plastic model, heart electronic glove, 3D printed heart, green technology, future tech, fringe tech, science, research, medical research, medical technology,

This heart is wrapped in a special electronic membrane that keeps it beating at the perfect rate. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington University in St. Louis developed the new membrane to wrap around hearts like a custom-made glove. A spiderweb-like network of specialized electrodes continuously monitor the heart’s electrical activity to keep it beating around the clock at a healthy rate.

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Washington University, St. Louis, heart membrane, rabbit heart, high-resolution imaging, computer modeling, 3D printer, 3D printing, pacemaker, cardiology, cardiovascular system, implantable defibrillators, plastic model, heart electronic glove, 3D printed heart, green technology, future tech, fringe tech, science, research, medical research, medical technology,

The researchers presented their study with a working version of the membrane wrapped around a rabbit’s heart. First they used high-resolution imaging, computer modeling, and a 3D printer to create a plastic model of the heart. Then the scientists used the model as a mold for the elastic membrane. The plastic glove not only fits around the heart perfectly but also expands and contracts as the organ pumps blood.

Related: New Nanoribbon Implant Uses Heartbeats to Power Pacemakers

This membrane is only one part of the equation though. The special sauce is actually a network of sensors and electrodes that monitors the glove and direct an electrical charge tospecific parts of the heart. Unlike a pacemaker or implantable defibrillators, the membrane acts more like a one size fits all implantable device.

“When it senses such a catastrophic event as a heart attack or arrhythmia, it can also apply a high-definition therapy,” Igor Efimov, a Washington University biomedical engineer, said in a release. “So it can apply stimuli, electrical stimuli, from different locations on the device in an optimal fashion to stop this arrhythmia and prevent sudden cardiac death.”

+ University of Illinois

Via Gizmodo

Images © University of Illinois

Related: 3D Printed Mechanical Muscle has a Heartbeat Powered by Yeast

Related Posts

LEAVE A COMMENT

or your inhabitat account below

Let's make sure you're a real person:


2 Comments

  1. Joshua Atwal July 21, 2014 at 8:22 am

    It was published in a science journal. You would have to pay money for the .Pdf file for access to the whole work.

    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140225/ncomms4329/full/ncomms4329.html

  2. locojomo March 5, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Could anyone link the article for this?

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

inhabitat inhabitat

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home