Researchers from Switzerland have experienced a soft artificial heart

Author Ольга Кияница


The prototype is almost identical to the real heart. And this achievement allowed to solve the main task in the process of creating the first absolutely soft artificial heart. A group of scientists managed to bring the prototype as close as possible to a living organ. The development of the silicone creation was conducted with the direct participation of Nicolas Corson, who belongs to a group of researchers led by Wendelin Stark, who holds a professorship and works at the ETH Zurich Higher Technical School. The answer to the question why it was decided to use the natural heart as a short-term example is quite simple.

Modern pumps used for pumping blood have many drawbacks: their mechanical components are quite susceptible to various factors of influence, at the same time, patients often lack the generation of a physiological impulse, which, as a result, has some side effects for patients. "Therefore, the goal was set for the creation of an artificial heart, which is very similar to what a patient has, while being as close to the human heart as possible with its existing form and functions," says Nicholas Kors.

Artificial heart with good functionality is a scourge of modern cardiology. According to statistics, about 26 million people around the world suffer heart failure of varying severity, so for many there is an acute question of setting a donor heart. Artificial blood pumps can shorten the time period that goes on waiting, at least until the patient receives the heart of the donor or the body can regain its norm.

Soft artificial heart - is the result of using 3D-printing technology and such widely known material as silicone. Parameters of the organ: weight 390 grams, volume 679 cm3. "In fact, the prototype is a silicone monoblock with complex internal organizations," explains Cors. There is a silicone heart from the left and right ventricles, like a real human heart, but the chambers are not separated by a partition, but only by an additional cavity. The task of such a chamber is to suck in and release compressed air, whereby the liquid is pumped through the chambers of the prototype, which in turn is a replacement for muscle contractions of the human heart.

The result of the research is essentially the beginning of a new direction in the field of artificial organs. The silicone prototype itself is not yet a full-fledged artificial organ, as it can perform no more than 3000 strokes, which corresponds to the work of a living heart for 30-45 minutes, so scientists propose to continue research that can result in the creation of full-featured human heart substitutes.

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