A new type of soft robotic sleeve has been invented to keep a weak or damaged heart beating, and it could save the lives of transplant patients who often have to wait months - or sometimes more than year - to receive a new organ.
The customisable silicon device wraps around the damaged organ, and is able to automatically twist and compress in sync with the beats, and recent animal trials have seen it return their heart function to near-perfect levels after total failure.
"This research is really significant at the moment because more and more people are ending up with heart failure," said one of the team behind the invention, Ellen Roche from the National University of Ireland Galway.
"Soft robotic devices are ideally suited to interact with soft tissue, and give assistance that can help with augmentation of function, and potentially even healing and recovery." Continue reading