Living Tissue & Electronics Converge in New Heart Patch

The science fiction of The Bionic Man is quickly becoming a reality with a new cardiac patch created by Tel Aviv University (TAU) researchers Professor Tal Dvir and Ron Feiner, a Ph.D. student of Dvir’s. The patch is an integration of patch monitoring technology with living tissue and could revolutionize cardiac care. Patients with areas of dead cardiac tissue, which occurs with myocardial infarction when a portion of the heart is denied oxygen and nutrients for an extended period of time, must overcome the obstacles of a working heart muscle with a fault. This damaged portion may be minute or quite large, depending on the extent of the area deprived of oxygen. Because the cells involved cannot be easily excised, an organic patch of transplanted tissue may be added, or a bypass procedure performed, or catheterization of a nearby vessel may circumvent the affected area. The larger the area, the less likely the patient can live a quality life. This cardiac patch could change the outcome of these patients’ lives. Medicomp is excited to share this latest breakthrough on cardiac technology with you.

TAU’s patch is a combination tissue transplant, cardiac monitor, pacemaker, defibrillator, and medicine distribution device. Using nanotechnology, Dvir has merged biological cells with electronics to remotely monitor the damaged area and ensure the heart is functioning normally. Data are sent via telemetry to physicians and hospitals for analysis. Rather than the physician calling the patient or requesting the patient drive to the nearest emergency room, the patch can be remotely stimulated to change the heart rate, deliver defibrillating shocks, or drugs can be administered. Amazingly, the patch can even be directed to regenerate more tissue.

The team at TAU believes the implications of the heart patch are far reaching; they are currently enhancing this still-new technology with more sophisticated electronics to automate the cardiac patch even further by giving it the ability to release an anti-inflammatory drug when it experiences inflammation, or releasing molecules to begin the formation of blood vessels to feed an oxygen-deprived area. Their research is not bounded by the cardiovascular system either; they believe this technology may allow integration into the central nervous system for patients suffering from neural disease or damage.

This latest idea in cardiac patch monitoring could save hundreds of thousands of lives every year. With 25% of patients on the heart transplant waiting list in critical condition, this quick fix is more than just a patch over a leaky innertube – it could mean the difference between lying in a hospital bed with little chance of survival to leading a life free of heart dysfunction. Technological science fiction from the 1970s is becoming reality, and we may all be a little more like Steve Austin in the near future. Contact the Medicomp experts at (800) 23-HEART (234-3278) to ask about our latest cardiac breakthrough available now, TelePatchTM, and browse our website concerning technology, patient care, and remote cardiac monitoring.

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