Robotic studies in the field of healthcare has been developing for over a decade now. The most recent studies have shown a customized soft robot that fits around the heart to help it beat. This has opened many new avenues for the people suffering from heart failure in the World.
This soft robotic sleeve developed by the Harvard University, twists and compresses with the beating heart augmenting cardiovascular functions weakened by heart failure. This reduces the risk of clotting and eliminates the need for a person to be dependent on the blood thinner medications. This will go a long way in bridging a patient to transplant or help in cardiac rehabilitation.
“This work represents an exciting proof-of-concept result for this soft robot, demonstrating that it can safely interact with soft tissue and lead to improvements in cardiac function.
Heart failure effects 41 million people in the world. Presently, the treatment options include mechanical pumps which is called ventricular assist devices (VADs), these pump blood from the ventricles to the aorta in the heart. VADs are evolving with time and their technology is improving every day. But even till today patients encounter a high risk for blood clots and stroke.
To evolve and be able to save the lives of the people suffering from heart disease, the researchers at Harvard University, inspired with the technology of the heart developed a thin silicone sleeve made up of soft pneumatic actuators placed around the heart that resembled the working of a normal heart. The actuators twist and compress the sleeve to mimic the beating heart. It also harnesses a pump to power the soft actuators.
The beauty of this machine is that it can be customized for each patient according to the degree of problem a patient possesses. The pressure of the actuators can be increased or decreased depending upon the requirement. If the patient’s left or right side of the heart is weak, the intensity of the actuators can be adjusted accordingly.
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