A new 3D-printed smart device can alert doctors before a heart attack occurs. A research team in the lab of Igor Efimov at Washington University in St. Louis has developed a prototype for a stretchy, custom-fitted, implantable membrane that can give doctors feedback about irregularities occurring inside someone’s heart.
The membrane would provide diagnostics and therapy, especially for patients with arrhythmia, allowing doctors to constantly monitor someone’s condition and stop a heart attack before it starts, Efimov, distinguished professor of biomedical engineering, cell biology, and physiology, and radiology at Washington University in St. Louis, told Design News. The technology could also provide therapy to the heart as needed.
Efimov told us: A cardiac device can be produced that is stretching with every heartbeat without affecting the heart’s function while providing high-resolution diagnostic information about the heart and actuators for therapeutic interventions, such as electrical, mechanical, and other stimulators. This device can be shaped precisely as the patient’s heart… based on medical imaging and 3D printing of the organ, which provides a mold for 3D membrane manufacturing serving as the base for the flexible/stretchable device. … (Read more)