A heart attack is a silent killer, but are there ways to be able to figure out a preventative step before it happens? Apparently so, as a 3D printed implant might just be able to predict when a heart attack is going to happen. Biomedical engineers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have come up with a custom-fitted, 3D printed implant that boasts of embedded sensors which could very well lay out a rather accurate prediction of cardiac disorders. This could very well lead to a change in the way that heart attacks are treated.
The 3D elastic membrane happens to be made out of a soft, flexible, silicon material which is similar to the heart’s epicardium, or better known as the outer layer of the wall of the heart. Existing technology happens to be two-dimensional and is unable to cover the full surface of the epicardium or maintain reliable contact for continual use without sutures or adhesives. Enter the 3D printed implant, where small sensors are printed onto the membrane which can then offer a precise measurement of temperature, mechanical strain, and pH, among other markers. Not only that, these sensors can also be used to administer a pulse of electricity in cases of arrhythmia.
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