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The first fully artificial heart soft from ETH Zurich

Researchers from ETH Zurich have created an artificial heart, made of silicone using a 3D printer. According to the Swiss group, they managed to make a unique “fully padded” the human heart.

Interesting facts

The project succeeded thanks to two scientists: Dr. Nicholas Course and Professor for the development of functional materials to Wendelin stark. After the scientist tandem designed the real heart, the work involved a team of ETH Zurich.

An artificial heart made using additive technologies. She helped to print complex structures out of silicon. The resulting body is a silicone piece with a very sophisticated design. It weighs 390 grams. Thus a volume of 679 cubic centimeters.

Unfortunately, the ETH Zurich team evaluated heart function by only 3 thousands of hits (that’s about an hour of continuous operation). The doctor of course gets upset. He says that the ultimate goal was not the production of a full-fledged substitute for the living heart. The main objective of the project scientists believe the ability to work towards the development of artificial organs. And start very good.

Prospects of printing artificial organs

The creation of this body is part of a project of the Zurich medical centre. It contains as many as 20 research groups from Berlin and Zurich. A team of scientists found his motivation in developing the best solutions in the field of creation of organs for the cardiovascular system.

The researchers say that modern cardiac pumps do not have the physiological factor of the pulse. They wanted to create an artificial body of approximately the same size as a real heart, but that he was identical both in form and in function.

According to estimates, today from heart failure suffers 26 million people. Most of them are hopelessly waiting for a donor, which would have provided them with a new heart. Such patients have blood that pumps facilitate the work of the heart.

The prospect of the development of three-dimensional printing of artificial organs could help to rectify the situation. The first steps have already been taken. In addition to the “Zurich heart”, is another confirmation of the successful application of three-dimensional printing. Recently in Georgia printed a heart valve, which is used in surgical operations.


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