Carla Schaffer/AAAS
Medicine

This Soft Robot Hugs the Heart and Helps It Beat

A new device uses compressed air to help damaged hearts pump blood, which could help 5.7 million people diagnosed with heart failure in the US each year.

Published On 11/22/2017
8:00 PM EST
Video with design and demonstration of the soft robotic ventricular assist device. | Payne et al., Sci. Robot. 2, eaan6736 (2017)
The soft robotic ventricular assist device consists of an exterior soft-robotic heart-hugging “sleeve” (comprised of soft actuators) and an interior anchor that braces the interventricular septum — a sturdy wall separating the heart’s two ventricles.
The device was tested on beating pig hearts. | Payne et al., Sci. Robot. 2, eaan6736 (2017)