Link #164: An Electric Sleeve to Solve All Heart Problems

Link #164: An Electric Sleeve to Solve All Heart Problems

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Link #164: An Electric Sleeve to Solve All Heart Problems

Heart Beat Monitor
Image credit: Prawny/CC0

Electricity has changed the human civilisation as we know it. Since mankind learned to harness electricity, countless technological developments have taken place, which depend on this source of energy. These developments and inventions have been critical for the human race as well as mundane.

For example, in our last articles, we explained the story of the origins of the electric toothbrush. While the electric toothbrush could be put in the mundane category, what could turn out to be a critical invention is the electric heart sleeve. What is this new invention?

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What Is The Electric Heart Sleeve?

The electric heart sleeve is basically a sort of a heart jacket that people’s hearts can be made to wear. It is an elastic membrane made up of silicon that is very similar in properties to the outermost tissue layer of the heart.

Furthermore, the electric membrane is covered with extremely tiny sensors that can monitor various elements and aspects that influence the functioning of the heart. The things that the sensors on the electric heart sleeve can track include the level of strain that the hearts muscles are under, the pH level of the blood, and even the temperature of the heart.

How Was The Electric Heart Sleeve Created?

The electric heart sleeve is still in the experimental phase. The first electric heart sleeve was created for a rabbit’s heart with the help of a 3D printer. The process began with using medical imaging techniques to get an image of a rabbit’s heart.

The scientists followed it up by creating a physical model of the rabbit’s heart using a 3D printer. Once the model of the heart was ready, the scientists used same techniques to create a silicon sleeve that fit the heart perfectly.

What’s The Use of the Electric Heart Sleeve?

As mentioned above, the electric heart sleeve is currently capable of monitoring the condition of the heart it covers. For instance, the first electric heart sleeve was used by scientists on the rabbit’s heart. Once in place, they monitored the electrical and mechanical properties of the heart.

After the testing of the electric silicon sheath for hearts is complete, the heart can actually be used to monitor the condition of people’s hearts. This capability is possible because the electric heart sleeve can actually be implanted in people’s bodies.

In fact, if successful, scientists can actually devise other electric sleeves based on the same concept. This means that there could one day be electric sleeves for organs like the kidney, the liver, and many others.

Apart from monitoring, there could actually be remedial elements to the electric heart sleeve as well. For instance, creators of the electric heart sleeve predict that their creations could one day be used to remedy heart problems like rhythm disorders. Rhythm disorders are becoming increasingly common in the masses.

In the case of potential electric kidney sleeves, the devices could be used for monitoring levels of sodium, potassium, and calcium in the body. It’s even possible that sleeves in the future can become advanced enough to monitor toxins in the body.




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Sources:

http://www.3dfocus.co.uk/3d-news-2/3d-printed-heart-sleeve-beats-forever/14259
http://www.medgadget.com/2014/02/flexible-electronic-heart-wrap-for-continuous-3d-electrocardiac-monitoring-video.html
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/this-wearable-heart-sock-may-someday-save-lives-180950028/

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