3D printing enables custom-built heart monitors

A cardiac monitor can now be custom-built to fit the hearts of patients suffering life-threatening disorders thanks to 3D printing.

An international team of biomedical engineers and materials scientists have created an elastic membrane made of a soft, flexible, silicon material that can be precisely shaped to match each patient’s epicardium – the outer layer of the wall of the heart.

The researchers use an MRI or CT scan to create a model of the patient’s heart using a 3D printer, before printing tiny sensors onto the membrane that can precisely measure temperature, mechanical strain and pH, among other markers.

Those sensors can assist physicians with determining the health of the heart and even to predict an impending heart attack before a patient exhibits any physical signs, as well as allowing them to deliver treatment in the form of an electric pulse for cases of arrhythmia – an irregular heartbeat. … (Read more)

Source: EandT.org