Scientists make heart "jacket" on 3D printer

Scientists from Washington University at St. Louis say they have used a 3D printer to create an elastic membrane that is similar to the outer layer of the heart’s wall, according to the journal Nature Communications. The membrane contains tiny sensors that help regulate the heart’s temperature, pH balance, and level of strain.

Using medical imaging, the scientists scanned a rabbit heart and then used a 3D printer to form a model for the heart. They then made a thin silicon sheath of tiny sensors that shape around  the outside of the heart.

In the future, researchers are hoping to use this heart “jacket” to treat patients with disorders such as atrial fibrillation. It could also potentially be used to test for heart disease and other organ health.

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