Artificial Hearts helps to replace the damaged heart. The first artificial heart to be successfully implanted in a human was the Jarvik-7, designed by Robert Jarvik and implemented in 1982. The first two patients to receive these hearts are Barney Clark and William Schroeder,survived 112 and 620 days beyond their surgeries, respectively. Though this was a successful trial, the patients could hardly survive i.e., not more than 2yrs. This is due to the reason that the biomaterials used to repair hearts after a heart attack or any other cardiovascular events lacked functionality and strength. In order to counter act this issue, recent studies made by the bioengineers on heart tissues helped to get a strong and more elastic hearts.
The study is depending on developing artificial heart tissues that closely mimics the features of natural heart cells through the use of human based materials. By developing MeTro gel-an advanced rubber-like material made from Tropoelastin, the protein in individual cells that makes them elastic, helps us to be provided with the tissues that has the same mechanical properties and functions as that of the native heart tissues.
Using this gel, a micro pattern was established by placing this gel on a glass slide and then using a mold and UV light. This patterned MeTro gel is then combined with the micro fabrication techniques, the techniques which help us to get a desirable patterned films. Thus, this process generates the gel containing well-defined micropatterns for high elasticity. Later they use these gels in creating heart tissues that contains beating heart muscle cells.
Though it is a pseudo heart tissue, the characteristics like spreading, alignment, function, communication appears to be as that of the natural heart tissues. Thus, these findings help us to mend a broken heart in a better way.Tags: Artificial Heart, Biomaterials, cardiovascular