3D printed heart beats like a real heart

An artificial heart is usually a washing machine-sized device that can only be used while in a hospital bed. Recently, compact mechanical, but alas, imperfect implants have appeared, which have certain disadvantages.

A group of scientists from the Zurich School of Technology has developed an artificial heart made of soft silicone that beats almost like a real one and provides a safe blood supply. It is intended for patients awaiting donor heart transplantation and those whose heart is recovering from an illness. The demand for a transplant is evidenced by the fact that in the United States alone, about 3, 000 people are waiting for a transplant.

Scientists are constantly looking for new solutions to improve functioning artificial hearts. This is especially true for the search for more biocompatible materials, such as, for example, silicone foam.

The artificial heart is the same size as the real one and weighs 390 grams. It was created by 3D printing and casting from a prepared model. The heart has a right and left ventricle separated from a chamber that mimics the heart muscle, which pumps blood using compressed air.

It should be noted that while the capabilities of the device are limited to about 3000 blows within 30-45 minutes. Nevertheless, the team is confident in the correctness of the chosen concept. Research results show that the creation of a full-fledged artificial heart is not such a distant prospect.