Robot Keeps your Heart Pumping

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Remember the robot looking for a real heat in “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland”?  He eventually gets his heart, but how can he keeps the heart pumping?  Although it is only a fairy-tale, nowadays there’s a new device which can help your heart pumping.


Today in the journal Science Robotics, researchers introduced a new kind of device to keep a heart pumping: It cradles the organ and uses a probe to anchor to the wall that separates the heart’s lower chambers. The robot can precisely manipulate a particular chamber, and that could lead to devices that let doctors assist a heart in its normal function instead of relying on a transplant.  Another sort of robotic heart announced earlier this year envelops the organ like a sleeve, but this new robot can work on a single diseased chamber.

This new robot is incorporated right into the heart, and acts to encourage the organ’s normal function. The bit that rests on the heart is a soft robot made of polymers, meaning it’s, well, soft, so it better conforms to the organ and doesn’t irritate the flesh. But it’s also soft in its operation: Instead of using traditional motors that are complicated and bulky, it’s pneumatically activated, which is a gentler way to manipulate the heart.

The researchers have already shown the robot working in a live pig. The next step could be to actually implant the thing in an animal and stitch it up, and then watch the robot work over the course of months.


Source: https://www.wired.com/2017/01/robots-coming-heart/

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