This Soft Robot Squeezes the Heart to Pump Blood


Image: Science Translational Medicine
Image: Science Translational Medicine
For heart failure patients, a new soft robot may soon be able to help by compressing the heart and coaxing it to beat.

By Madison Margolin | MOTHERBOARD

Scientists at Harvard University and the Boston Children’s Hospital are developing a customizable soft robot that fits around the heart and supports its natural pumping, according to a Science Translational Medicine report. The device is safer than the more existing devices we have right now.

„[The heart] is already beating, but not pumping much, [so] the device is beating with it, compressing and twisting with it,“ Ellen Roche, former PhD student at Harvard and the soft robot paper’s first author, told Motherboard. „[The soft robot] gives [the heart] extra power to squeeze and twist and eject the blood. It’s basically massaging it from the outside with a perfectly synchronized motion.“

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