Engineers develop a flexible cardiac implant that can be used to treat and diagnose arrhythmias

Service Engineering

The University of Houston's engineers have created a flexible cardiac implant that can be used by gathering electrophysiological activity, heartbeat, temperature and other indications to treat and diagnose arrhythmias, as well as additional heart problems.

The Houston team claims that the cardiac implant, made using fully rubbery electronic materials, compatible with heart tissue, is a first of its kind. The study was published in Nature Electronics.

“Engineers develop a flexible cardiac implant that can be used to treat and diagnose arrhythmias.“

The substance used to make the patch mimics that of the heart itself, minimising the possibility of injury to the muscles. The implant obtains its power from the beating motion of the heart, as well as spatiotemporal mapping. The system may also be used for therapeutic applications where temperature variations are used to try to fix, as well as diagnose, abnormal heart rhythms.

The researchers stated: “Unlike bioelectronics primarily based on rigid materials with mechanical structures that are stretchable on the macroscopic level, constructing bioelectronics out of materials with moduli matching those of the biological tissues suggests a promising route towards next-generational bioelectronics and biosensors that do not have a hard-soft interface for the heart and other organs. Our rubbery epicardial patch is capable of multiplexed ECG mapping, strain and temperature sensing, electrical pacing, thermal ablation, and energy harvesting functions.”

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, the University of Houston, corresponding author Cunjiang Yu, stated: “For people who have heart arrhythmia or a heart attack, you need to quickly identify the problem - this device can do that.”

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