High Performance Artificial Muscles to Engineer a Ventricular Cardiac Assist Device and Future Prospective of a Cardiac Sleeve
Advanced Materials Technologies
There is an urgent need for ventricular assist devices (VADs) that can assist in complex biological functions such as the contraction of heart muscle. Although the design improvements implemented with each generation of VADs have helped to increase patient's wellbeing. But the portability, implantability due to the bulkiness, and the lack of pulsatility are continuing to be clinical challenges. In addition, contact between blood and artificial surfaces remains, necessitating long-term blood-thinning medications for patients with VADs. Herein, a concept of new VADs is demonstrated that may provide an improved power system with miniaturization and pulsatility control. This work will examine this new generation of electrically contractile polymer-based actuators for positive inotropic support for both the left and right ventricle (high- and low-pressure system) as cardiomyoplasty. A silicone coated electrothermal actuator is fabricated to engineer VAD, which is able to mimic the pressure on a model. This represents the first successful study demonstrating that artificial muscle can be a decent alternative to support patients with heart muscle weaknesses.
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Australian Research Council