Jointly developed by the Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital, a soft robot will be bringing relief to the heart patients. In a bid to make advancements in treating heart problems, this new mode has been unveiled that helps the heart in beating normally.
The study was published in Science Translational Medicine and it is a collaborative effort by Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), Boston Children’s Hospital and Wyss Institute. The proof of concept shows the team’s efforts to come up with a solution that addresses the market needs of low modulus and implantable devices for certain biological functions like a contraction of heart muscles.
The best part about the device is that it doesn’t need to make contact with the blood. Hence, there is no risk of anticoagulation therapy or use of blood thinners. Many other issues related to ventricular devices like clotting and infections are avoided using this device. It has been designed to fit around the heart and it twists and compresses just like a ventricular assist device (VAD) works.
This soft robotic sleeve performs its functions matching the natural movements. It uses air-powered soft actuators that act like the actual muscles. It is then tethered to an external pump for drawing air power. Its functions will help the patients in the long run who need cardiac rehabilitation and recovery.
Not only this, the soft robot is flexible and customizable as well. The actuator has an option to be adjusted for giving a better support to either of the sides of the heart if required. With the amazing proof of concept, there can be many future applications of the technology providing better mechanotherapy to the human body.