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3D-Printed Smart Membrane Detects Heart Problems
3/19/2014

A research team led by Igor Efimov at Washington University in St. Lewis has developed a stretchy, custom-fitted, implantable device that can give doctors feedback about life-threatening irregularities occurring inside someone's heart. This photo shows sensors embedded in the silicon membrane that could provide stimulation to the surface of the heart.  (Source: Washington University/St. Louis)
A research team led by Igor Efimov at Washington University in St. Lewis has developed a stretchy, custom-fitted, implantable device that can give doctors feedback about life-threatening irregularities occurring inside someone’s heart. This photo shows sensors embedded in the silicon membrane that could provide stimulation to the surface of the heart.
(Source: Washington University/St. Louis)

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Elizabeth M
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Re: More heart technology innovation
Elizabeth M   5/29/2014 3:44:40 AM
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Good question, Cabe. I think the connection would probably be secured somehow to avoid such scenarios, but in truth I don't really know. Something for me to follow up on with the researchers. Thanks for asking!

Cabe Atwell
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Re: More heart technology innovation
Cabe Atwell   5/24/2014 1:38:48 AM
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The medical uses for the membrane are certainly remarkable. I assume the information collected would be sent over a Wi-Fi connection for doctors to review. So my question is, wouldn't that make it vulnerable to being hacked? I say this because heart defibrillators and pacemakers can be hacked to overvolt or dump their medicine, which would be detrimental to the patient.

Elizabeth M
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Re: More heart technology innovation
Elizabeth M   4/2/2014 5:33:36 AM
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That is a very interesting question, a2. I suppose when any information is sent wirelessly there are security issues, but I can't imagine they would not be addressed before these devices were used on patients. But these are good questions to be asking before the technology comes out of the lab.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Re : 3D-Printed Smart Membrane Detects Heart Problems
Elizabeth M   3/31/2014 5:53:00 AM
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Thanks for that information, Debera. I do not know much about this but I imagine if the heart treatment is successful that perhaps other uses will be investigated, including one for cancer.

a2
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Re: More heart technology innovation
a2   3/31/2014 5:25:08 AM
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@Elizabath: Yes indeed but what about the security aspects of this system ? Does it have any risks towards the records of the patients ?

Elizabeth M
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Re: More heart technology innovation
Elizabeth M   3/31/2014 5:11:57 AM
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Thank you, etmax. I agree that it has the potential to be an extremely useful tool for doctors and people with heart disease.

Debera Harward
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Re: Re : 3D-Printed Smart Membrane Detects Heart Problems
Debera Harward   3/30/2014 3:32:46 PM
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Elizebeth, in terms of cancerous cells we can say that as kemitherapy is the solution for cancer but it is very hazardous as well so i guess 3D technology should do something or introduce any technology which act as a replacement of kemotherapy to reduce the side effects .

etmax
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Re: More heart technology innovation
etmax   3/29/2014 9:52:57 AM
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This is a brilliant post, thanks. It has a whole range of uses, effectively giving a Dr a 24hr echocardiogram as well as an electrocardiogram.

 

William K.
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Re: Interesting concept, but not a simple installation?
William K.   3/27/2014 10:00:38 AM
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The other question is about connections, which none are visible in the photo. It certainly is an interesting concept, and more details about the actual printing process would be both educational and potentially useful. The point about this being a stretchy design makes it quite unique indeed. Most designs are ridgid, typically, or a bit flexible at best. So flexible and stretchable is something quite new.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Interesting concept, but not a simple installation?
Elizabeth M   3/27/2014 7:39:06 AM
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I don't know about the process, William K., I would have to look into it further. Yes, the operation certainly would be risky, as all surgeries are, especially when the heart is exposed. I imagine this type of thing would only be used in patients that really needed constant monitoring and for whom it would be more beneficial to have potentially dangerous surgery than not. Or perhaps there is a low-invasive way to insert the membrane. I will try to do some digging and get back to you.

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