Scientists Design Protection For Cardiac Pacemakers


ETH researchers have designed a special defensive membrane composed of cellulose that considerably lowers the upsurge of fibrotic tissue all over implants of cardiac pacemaker, as stated in the present issue of the Biomaterials journal. Their growth can hugely simplify surgical processes for people having cardiac pacemakers.

“Each pacemaker has to be restored at some point. When this time follows, characteristically after almost 5 Years when the battery of the device expires, the patient has to go through a surgery,” claims Aldo Ferrari. “If too much fibrotic tissue has accumulated around the device, it makes the procedure complicated,” he claims. In such instances, the doctor has to slash into and eliminate this extra tissue. Not only does that extend the operation, it also elevates the danger of complications.

To deal with this problem, Ferrari and his associates at ETH Zurich invested the past few years designing a membrane with a special structure of surface that is less conducive to the development of fibrotic tissue as compared to the pacemakers’ smooth metal surface. This membrane has been patented now and Ferrari is collaborating with fellow scientists at the University of Zurich, the Wyss Zurich research hub, and the German Center of Cardiovascular Research in Berlin to make it ready for the market to employ in patients.

As fraction of this procedure, the research group has now tried the membrane on swine. Every swine, the researchers implanted 2 pacemakers, one of which was wrapped in the cellulose membrane.

After oneyear of test period, the scientists can report positive outcomes: the bodies of the pigs bear the membrane and accept it. “This is an essential finding since acceptance is a core need for implant substances,” Ferrari claims. Just as essentially, the membrane did what it was believed to: the fibrotic tissue that was created around it was only 1/3rd as thick as the tissue that was created around the earlier devices.

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