“Soft transient implantable and wearable cardiac bioelectronics”
Hosted by the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME)
Abstract: Heart disease is the leading cause of death, even in times of COVID-19 pandemic. Implantable devices have transformed clinical care for heart diseases and contributed to a significant extension of life expectancy in the 20th century. Implantable pacemakers, defibrillators, ventricular assist devices, stents, and ECG monitors provided critical life-saving diagnostics and therapies. However, all these devices have one major limitation: a mechanical mismatch between soft mechanically active cardiac tissue and rigid metal biointerfaces. Recently, material scientists have developed novel materials and fabrication processes to overcome this problem. In collaboration with John A. Rogers from Northwestern University we have developed and validated in animal models soft bioelectronics which provides the backbone for a variety of implantable biointerfaces and device networks. We have developed miniature battery free wireless pacemakers for permanent and temporary pacing of the heart afflicted by permanent or temporary AV block. These devices are controlled by wearable electronics through wireless power and data transfer. Patients undergoing open heart surgery frequently experience transient AV block which requires temporary pacemakers, currently consisting of a wire attached to an external impulse generator. This approach is associated with infection and risk of heart injury. We have developed a fully implantable bioresorbable pacemaker, which serves for required amount of time and dissolves after that without side effects. We also developed multifunctional organ conformal arrays of sensors and actuators which allow electrophysiological mapping, RF or pulsed field ablation, mechanical contact and temperature mapping, all integrated on a catheter-based delivery tool for electrophysiological or surgical treatment of arrhythmias. We also have developed bioresorbable adhesive with high electrical and optical conductivity, which allows seamless attachment of complex multifunctional bioelectronic and optical interfaces to the heart. Conclusions: These advances in bioelectronics set the stage for development in the next decade of distributed neuromorphic networks which will diagnose and treat heart disorders in real time.
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