Scientists Develop Artificial Foam Heart

Posted: Oct 21 2015, 6:48am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

Scientists Develop Artificial Foam Heart
Artificial heart created by Rob Shepherd and his colleagues CORNELL UNIVERSITY

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The new artificial heart is very similar to real human heart in both shape and function

Cornell University researchers have developed a new artificial heart which they claimed works very similar to real, fleshy heart.

The heart is made with foam like lightweight, stretchable material which has a potential to be used as a replacement for missing body parts, artificial organs as well as soft robotics.

Artificial hearts, which have been created before, were mostly made out of solid materials like ceramic, metal and plastic. This is the first time when scientists created an artificial heart using soft, stretchy material, polymer foam.

The polymer foam, also known as elastomer foam, is poured into a container in liquid form and molded into a variety of shapes. It contains pores as well which allow fluid to be pumped through it. Since it serves as a pathway for liquid or gas, the heart can move and change its length by 300 percent. Carbon fiber and silicon are attached outside the heart to expand and maintain different rates on the surface when inflated.

“The device pumps at physiologically relevant frequencies and pressures and attains a flow rate higher than all previous reported soft pumps.” Study reads.

The new artificial heart is waiting for federal approval and testing inside the human body. Meanwhile, same group of researchers is planning to make more prosthetic body parts with the material.

“We’re currently pretty far along for making a prosthetic hand this way.” Rob Shepherd, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and senior author of study explained.

New artificial heart mimics normal human heart in both shape and function but has just two chambers as oppose to four in real heart.

Shepherd says “It shows the three-dimensional complexity we can get from our process, but also we believe it has the potential, after further development, to be a viable replacement for a heart,”

The paper was published in latest issue of Advanced Materials.

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