Research focuses on a supple artificial heart made from silicone

Publié le 31 Jul, 2017

Today, 26 million people around the world suffer from heart failure and donors are seldom found. An innovative artificial heart has been developed at the École polytechnique fédérale in Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich EPFZ), Switzerland.


Made from silicone on a 3D printer, it reproduces the complex anatomy of the human heart and allows blood to be pumped in exactly the same way as in a normal heart. “It has a left ventricle and a right ventricle. However, both ventricles are not separated by a wall as in the human heart, but by a third cavity. This moves with air pressure and allows the heart to pump like the human heart. “


Its use is limited by its lifespan: “currently it can tolerate up to 3,000 beats, i.e. approximately 30 minutes“, because pressure in the heart soon damages the artificial organ.


This was simply a feasibility test. Our aim was not to create an implantable heart but to think of another way to develop artificial hearts,” explained PhD student, Nicholas Cohrs, who developed this protype within a team led by Professor Wendelin Stark. (13/07/2017) ; (14/07/2017)

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