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 someones 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)
Excellent post Elizabeth. Several years ago my father, age 84 at that time, underwent emergency surgery for a heart valve replacement. He was a candidate due to his overall physical condition. Today he is 91 and probably has a stronger heart than I. Medical engineering and medical technology absolutely amaze me and the application of 3-D printing to these fascinating fields indicates what a marvelous place and future "addititive" manufacturing has. I really appreciate the information and had no idea engineers and doctors were working towards this type of preventative medicine.
You're welcome, Debera. I didn't know this technology was used for other applications, so it's good to know that now. And yes, the heart application is really fascinating and could do a lot to help people with chronic heart conditions in terms of quality of life, I think.
Thanks Elizebeth for such an interesting post , No doubt 3d technology is being used for a number of good and life saving purposes . I was just aware that this technology is being used in medical in terms of transpants of the organs and dentistry but ths smart membrane is really very innovative method of detecting heart problems.
This is an interesting follow-up to another story I wrote about heart-valve technology that flexes like a real heart valve: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=272112
There is a lot of new innovation happening in the area of artificial heart technology and other technology to help people with heart problems, as well as technology to improve other artificial limbs. This one especially is really interesting, because it marks a possible breakthrough in treatment for people with chronic heart problems. I'd be curious to see what those in the medical field think about this.
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