Short Bytes: Researchers from ETH Zurich have designed a silicone heart that functions just like a human heart. It has all the chambers; the right and the left ventricles that would pump blood. The only drawback howsoever is that it beats only for 3000 times; after that, it gets damaged and dies. For the testing, a liquid with the same viscosity of blood was used. Researchers, however, are looking for more improvement and revision in the model.Asilicone heart for a real heart! A group of researchers from ETH Zurich has created 3-D printed silicone heart that functions just like a human heart. The team tried to design this artificial heart with quite a similarity in function and form to the actual one. 3-D printing and lost wax casting technique were used to develop this artificial model.
This could be one of the biggest contributions of technology to the medical field in the recent times. In place of the heart transplant, this artificial heart can be used for blood pumping. Because of its simple and solid structure, it is easier in application than the traditional pumps which are somewhat complicated.
This heart weighs 390 grams with a volume of 679cm3. The major component is silicone that follows sincerely the design of real heart. It has left and right ventricles and other chambers as the real one. But, while testing, the team of researchers also found that this heart beats for approximately 3000 times. It means that it can sustain the patient’s life for 30 to 45 minutes more. After the limit of 3000 beats, it stops working.
To study the blood flow through the chambers and to test the success of their idea, the team used a liquid of the same viscosity as that of the blood.
“This was simply a feasibility test,” said Nicholas Cohrs, one of the researchers. He said that their aim was not to provide an immediate heart transplant model but to think of ways to develop artificial hearts.
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It has surely been a great endeavor, however, researchers are looking forward to work on an artificial-heart model with more durability and enhanced effectiveness.