3D Cover for the Heart Which Can Both Measure and Send Signals

Lizhi Xu, Sarah R. Gutbrod, Andrew P. Bonifas, Yewang Su, Matthew S. Sulkin, Nanshu Lu, Hyun-Joong Chung, Kyung-In Jang, Zhuangjian Liu, Ming Ying, Chi Lu, R. Chad Webb, Jong-Seon Kim, Jacob I. Laughner, Huanyu Cheng, Yuhao Liu, Abid Ameen, Jae-Woong Jeong, Gwang-Tae Kim, Yonggang Huang, Igor R. Efimov & John A. Rogers (2014); 3D multifunctional integumentary membranes for spatiotemporal cardiac measurements and stimulation across the entire epicardium; Nature Communications vol 5; http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4329

3D multifunctional integumentary membranes for spatiotemporal cardiac measurements and stimulation across the entire epicardium

Studies of the heart need ways of getting very detailed mapping of and sending signals to the heart surface in three dimensions. Previous ways of measuring the heart only used 2D sheets (like a piece of paper) which needed to be glued or sewn in to get reliable, long-term connections. With this method we used 3D scanning and 3D printing to create stretchable sleeves shaped just like the heart being studied. This sleeve is used to attach sensors and electronics for reading and sending signals to the heart. This sleeve completely wraps around the heart like Spandex, and because it fits so well it allows accurate way to measure and send heart signals while the heart is beating. Sensors include monitors for pH, temperature, and mechanical strain while signalling devices include ways to send electrical, heat, and light signals. The computer parts are made of plastic, metal, silicon, metal oxides, gallium arsenide, and gallium nitride (all used in making computer circuits) and are used in making the sensor and signal devices mentioned before. Experiments done outside the body show that the sleeve works correctly for heart research and therapy.

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