Mesh Wrap Heals a Broken Heart


A newly developed mesh material that wraps snugly around the heart could help the cardiac muscles function after a heart attack.

The device combines silver nanowires and styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) rubber and can be custom-fitted for each patient.

“We tried to imitate cardiac tissue,” says Hye Jin Hwang, a cardiovascular medicine researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Silver nanowires, she says, are highly conductive, while SBS rubber provides elasticity and durability.

Healthy heart muscles contract in response to electrical impulses propagated from specialized nodes. Heart attacks can damage both the muscle and the electrical conduction system (known as the Purkinje network) that keeps the muscles contracting in the proper sequence. Today’s pacemakers generate electrical impulses to nudge the heart into rhythm after it has been damaged from a heart attack, but they rely on only two or three electrodes. A mesh wrap, on the other hand, can distribute the electrical signal throughout the heart muscles.

Heart wraps have been...

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