Feb 13, 2024

A new solution for energy transfer to heart pumps mitigates infection

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, electronics

Roughly 1 in 2 wearers of ventricular assist devices are diagnosed with an infection. The reason for this is the thick cable for the power supply. ETH Zurich researchers have now developed a solution to mitigate this problem.

For many patients waiting for a , the only way to live a decent life is with the help of a pump attached directly to their heart. This pump requires about as much power as a TV, which it draws from an external battery via a seven-millimeter-thick cable. The system is handy and reliable, but it has one big flaw: Despite , the point at which the cable exits the abdomen can be breached by bacteria.

ETH Zurich researcher and engineer Andreas Kourouklis is working to soon make this problem a thing of the past. With the support of ETH Zurich Professor Edoardo Mazza and physicians from the German Heart Center in Berlin, Kourouklis has developed a new cable system for heart pumps that doesn’t cause infections. The findings are published in the journal Biomaterials Advances.

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