As a company that manufacturers state of the art holter monitors, our team at Cardiac Monitoring Service is always researching new cardiac technology. This week an incredibly exciting study from Tel Aviv University (TAU) was published in the journal Nature Materials, which introduced a new invention that has the potential to help thousands of people around the world.
The “cyborg heart patch” is the new bioengineering revelation from Professor Tal Dvir and PhD student Ron Feiner of Tel Aviv University, and may single-handedly change the field of cardiac research. This bionic heart patch combines organic and engineered components, and according to Professor Dvir, the capabilities of the invention surpass those of transplanted human tissue alone.
The engineered cardiac patch incorporates human cells with flexible electronics and a nanocomposite construct to not only replace damaged heart tissue, but also provide a remote cardiac monitoring service, electrical stimulation, and even on demand release of medication. The patch expands and contracts just like normally functioning human heart tissue, but uses electroactive polymers to regulate those movements with the precision of a Swiss watch.
As such, this patch may give fresh hope to those 25 percent of people on the US national waiting list that may die before a suitable transplant heart becomes available, by offering a way to effectively repair, rather than replace, their own heart.
For the new bionic patch, Dr. Dvir and his team created dense bionic tissue appropriate for transplantation. The engineered tissue features electronics that sense tissue function and provide electrical stimulation accordingly. Additionally, the electroactive polymers that are integrated with the electronics are able to release medication in real time upon activation.
“With this heart patch, we have integrated electronics and living tissue,” stated Professor Dvir. “It’s very science fiction, but it’s already here, and we expect it to move cardiac research forward in a big way. Until now, we could only engineer organic cardiac tissue, with mixed results. Now we have produced viable bionic tissue, which ensures that the heart tissue will function properly.”
Professor Dvir’s Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Lab hope to progress the heart patch to the point that the integration of more advanced electronics embedded within the device will allow completely automatic regulation and control of cardiac function. For example, if the patch were to sense inflammation it would release an anti-inflammatory drug into the host’s system. Similarly, if the patch sensed a lack of oxygen, it would be able to release molecules that recruit blood-vessel forming cells to the heart. A development of this magnitude would surely have the potential to make Professor Dvir’s cyborg heart patch the most sophisticated and highly effective piece of cardiac monitoring equipment that has been developed so far in modern medicine.
Currently, Professor Dvir and his team are continuing to expand their research by investigating ideas on similar cyborg replacements for areas of the brain and spinal column damaged by neurological conditions.
Cardiac Monitoring Service, is a premiere provider of Holter monitors, cardiac event monitors and top of the line cardiac monitoring equipment to help support the amazing work you do with your patients, all with no cost to you! Please contact us today at 1-800-267-5248 to get started!