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Soft Robotic Cardiac Assist Device for One-sided Heart Failure

November 29, 2017


Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital have developed a novel robotic cardiac assist device designed to assist patients with one-sided heart failure. The device combines soft actuators with a rigid brace that penetrates into the heart’s intraventricular septum, to provide gentle but robust pumping assistance to just one side of the heart, without disturbing the activity of the other side.

Robotic Cardiac Assist

Soft robotic components have significant potential in minimally invasive cardiac assist devices that help the failing heart to pump by squeezing it from the outside. Unlike conventional ventricular assist devices, this approach does not require the device to have significant contact with the blood, reducing the risk of clotting and the need for anticoagulant therapy.

Medgadget recently reported on a soft sleeve that can envelope the failing heart and squeeze it, augmenting cardiac output. But what about one-sided heart failure, where just one ventricle is struggling to pump enough blood? This type of heart failure is more common in some pediatric patients, in which a congenital condition can cause failure of either the right or left ventricle, but not both.

In that instance, squeezing the entire heart could actually interfere with the pumping of the healthy ventricle, and a wraparound sleeve might not be suitable. To address this, some of the researchers behind the soft sleeve have come up with a new device that targets just one ventricle.

“We’ve combined rigid bracing with soft robotic actuators to gently but sturdily help a diseased heart chamber pump blood effectively,” says Nikolay Vasilyev, a researcher involved in the study. The rigid brace is implanted into the intraventricular septum, and provides resistance against soft actuators that cup the surface of the affected ventricle.

Read More at the Source: Soft Robotic Cardiac Assist Device for One-sided Heart Failure | Medgadget


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