Skip to comments.Artificial Heart 'Jacket' Made on 3D Printer
Posted on 03/03/2014 8:27:11 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Using a 3D printer, scientists have made an elastic membrane that closely mimics the outer layer of the heart's wall.
The new membrane, which was described Tuesday (Feb. 25) in the journal Nature Communications, contains tiny sensors that can track the heart's temperature, pH and level of strain. The device could one day be used to treat patients with rhythm disorders in the lower chambers of the heart, as well as the rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation, the researchers said.
Heart rhythm irregularities are a common problem, with one of the most well-known forms, atrial fibrillation, affecting 3 million to 5 million people in the U.S. yearly. Left untreated, rhythm irregularities can cause blood clots, which can lead to stroke.
People with atrial fibrillation are often treated with blood thinners or other treatments that may ablate the heart's pacemaker cells and replace them with electrodes. But these techniques are fairly simplistic and don't provide much feedback on the heart's condition.
"Currently, medical devices to treat heart rhythm diseases are essentially based on two electrodes inserted through the veins and deployed inside the chambers," study co-author Igor Efimov, a biomedical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis, said in a statement....
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
3-D Printer Ping!
The biggest obstacle will be the thugs from the FDA.
I have atrial fibrillation (Afib) diagnosed over two years ago. For a while I wore an exterior pacemaker that was strapped onto my body in a vest-like harness. It caused a nasty rash over my chest and back and was a big nuisance so the docs decided to install a Medtronic pacemaker under my skin below my port side collar bone which monitors my heart function, jolts it if necessary and records performance of my heart which is analyzed quarterly.
The article mistakenly states that pacemakers “are fairly simplistic and don’t provide much feedback on the heart’s condition”. I go into the VA every three months where a Medtronic tech extracts a lot of data from the pacemaker, analyzes it and reports to the cardiologist M.D. who checks me out yearly. I also take a blood thinner (Warfarin) which has to be checked every six weeks by a blood sample at the VA.
Medtronic is a top notch company. I expect they are on top of this development. I’m doing great. I followed the docs orders on diet and exercise. I cut out all alcohol and lost enough weight to get back into my skinny jeans.
What do you see in this picture?