3D-printed silicone heart beats like the real thing

From Engadget - July 14, 2017

In the future, it could be used as an temporary heart instead of the blood pumps hospitals use today for patients waiting for a heart transplant. Since it's a single solid silicone structure, it does not have the usual disadvantages associated with typical pumps' metallic and plastic mechanisms, which are susceptible to complications. That's why when the team set out to create an artificial heart, they made it their goal to develop one that "is roughly the same size as the patient's own one and which imitates the human heart as closely as possible in form and function."

The team stayed true to their mission and developed a silicone heart that has a right and a left ventricle like its real counterpart. But instead of a wall in between the two, they are separated by an extra chamber inflated and deflated by pressurized air in order to mimic contractions and pump blood. It's definitely a promising creation that could change lives, but it's unfortunately far from ready.


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