Electromechanical cardioplasty; heart failure

Electromechanical cardioplasty using a wrapped elasto-conductive epicardial mesh

Electromechanical hug for the heart

A mesh that wraps around the heart can strengthen a failing heart, a new study shows, in rats

Interesting news for Cardiac Resyncronisation Therapy; Jinkyung Park from the Institute for Basic Science in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues design a soft, elastic ‘epicardial mesh’ that integrates with a beating heart and electrically stimulates large areas of heart muscle to prevent heart failure – electromechanical cardioplasty.
Read the full study recently published in Science Translational Medicine.

Heart failure weakens heart muscle and impairs its pumping ability. According to the American Heart Association, around half of heart failure patients die within five years of diagnosis – a mortality rate higher than that of most cancers.

A Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) Implantable Pacemaker system that delivers electrical current from specific points in the heart can effectively delay heart failure, but not every patient can have them implanted. So devices that encircle the outer shell of the heart, like this Electromechanical cardioplasty system, to synchronise its beating, a few of which are currently in clinical trials, offer a promising alternative.

Park and colleagues designed an epicardial mesh that mimics heart tissue to provide structural support and deliver electrical impulses to both lower heart chambers.

Find out more here: https://stm.sciencemag.org/content/8/344/344ra86

Manual testing of the elasticity of the epicardial mesh.
J. PARK ET AL., SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE (2016)

Featured image: A photograph of the epicardial mesh implanted in a control rat heart.
Credit: J. PARK ET AL., SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE (2016)