Cornell Researchers Create Artificial Foam Heart

Posted on October 19, 2015

Artificial Foam Heart

Cornell University researchers have created an artificial foam heart. The material used is lightweight and has the consistency of memory foam. The foam has connected pores that allow fluids to flow through the artificial heart.

The researchers first developed a mold to create the foam hearts using a 3D printer. The polymer foam can then be poured as a liquid into the molds. Cornell says they are also close to making prosthetic body parts with this foam. Applications for use inside the body - such as the foam heart - will require federal approval and testing.

The researchers demonstrated a pump they made into a heart in the research paper published in Advanced Materials. Rob Shepherd, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and senior author of the paper, says in a YouTube video that they decided to use a heart for the example for their material in the paper because of the heart's complex shape. He says it turns out that people are very interested in using it as a heart replacement or an assistant machine to the heart. Take a look:

Image: Benjamin C. Mac Murray et al./Advanced Materials

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