ETH Zurich researchers build 3D soft silicon artificial heart

Tinuku ~ ETH Zurich builds artificial hearts made of soft and pulsed using 3D printing. The researchers print 3D silicon hearts gently and beat almost like a true human organ. The team experimented to test the artificial heart design and provide the potential for safer and more comfortable ways to pump blood in the human body.

Tinuku ETH Zurich researchers build 3D soft silicon artificial heart

ETH Zurich researchers from Zurich's Functional Materials Laboratory and Product Development Group have developed a silicon heart that beats almost like a human heart. The organs look like real hearts and imitate natural models to the fullest.

"Our goal is to develop an artificial heart about the size of a patient and mimic the human heart as closely as possible in form and function," says Nicholas Cohrs.

Today more than 26 million people worldwide suffer heart failure, while donor hearts are unable to meet demand. This blood pump helps fill the waiting time until the patient receives a donor heart or their heart recovers.

Soft silicon uses a 3D-printing wax casting technique weighing 390 grams and a volume of 679 cubic centimeters. Right and left ventricle design like the original heart. The chamber is not separated by the septum, but rather by extra space to pump fluid and replace the contraction of human heart muscle.

The researchers reported the results of experiments in the scientific journal Artificial Organ as evidence that the soft artificial heart fundamentally works and moves in a manner similar to the human heart, although it only lasts about 3,000 beats equivalent to half an hour.

"This is just a feasibility test, but our goal is not to present the heart ready for implantation, but to think of new directions for the development of artificial hearts.Of course, the tensile strength of materials and performance must be significantly improved," Cohrs said.

Research focuses on repairing blood pumps, such as how to reduce blood damage induced from the mechanical parts of the pump, while others explore highly elastic membranes or more biocompatible surfaces.