A novel “electronic smart pump” created by scientists who say that they say will “revolutionise” the treatment of patients suffering from chronic heart failure has been developed by researchers from the Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.
They say the smart aortic graft would be implanted in the patient’s body and is entirely self-contained, eliminating the need for the patient to be hospitalised and wired to machinery.
The device which is operated by a battery would be implanted into a section of the aorta that had previously been removed in order to improve the heart‘s efficiency. The aorta is the large artery situated in in the left ventricle of the heart. A tube is connected to the device, which is surrounded by a material that expands when a voltage is applied to it, causing it to act as a pump. The device would then create a counter blood flow by “beating out of phase with the diseased heart.”
Once the heart fills with blood, the tube contracts, therefore increasing pressure in the heart. The heart then pumps oxygenated blood around the body. This causes the tube to expand, releasing the pressure and increasing blood flow.
The researchers say they hope to have the device tailor-made to each patient using 3D printing techniques and data from MRI scans.