Researchers have created a biorobotic heart that combines a biological heart and a silicone robotic pump to mimic the structure and function of a real heart, allowing for testing and training. This new heart model can simulate different heart valve conditions and interventions, providing a less expensive alternative to animal testing and current heart simulators. The focus of the research was on mitral regurgitation, a disorder affecting millions worldwide, and the team successfully performed three different surgical techniques to correct a damaged heart valve.
The biorobotic heart, based on a pig heart, uses a silicone soft robotic pump system to mimic the beating and function of a biological heart. The system allows for real-time data collection and visualization of surgical procedures and is compatible with current imaging technologies used in clinics. The researchers plan to further optimize the system by shortening production time and exploring 3D printing technology to recreate a synthetic human heart.
The team believes that their biorobotic heart could speed up the device design cycle, improve regulatory approval processes, and ultimately benefit patients. It could also serve as a realistic environment for cardiac surgery training and practice. The findings were presented in the journal Device on January 10, and the researchers are hopeful that their new heart model will bring significant advancements to the field of heart surgery.
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