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New Material Could Provide Alternative Heart Disease Treatment

Heart Assist Webbing

— February 28, 2008 — Unique
Not only does a heart transplant for people with weak, failing hearts involve the obvious risk of the transplant itself, it almost always involves taking anti-rejection drugs for life. Other alternatives include heart assist devices or even "artificial hearts", many of which come into direct contact with the patient's bloodstream, not only requiring the anti-rejection drugs, which suppress the entire immune system, but anti-clotting drugs as well.

A new technology developed at the University of Leeds could solve those problems. A new webbing has been developed from biocompatible material that wraps around the heart, and by means of sensors and small motors, helps the heart to squeeze and pump the blood through the body. According to PhD student David Keeling, "It's a really simple concept that works in the same way as when you squeeze a plastic bottle, forcing the liquid inside to rise”.

Although still in the prototype stage, the initial tests are very promising.
Trend Themes
1. Biocompatible Heart Webbing - A new webbing made from biocompatible material that could wrap around the heart and potentially replace anti-rejection drugs.
2. Heart Assist Sensors - The use of sensors and small motors to help the heart squeeze and pump could provide a less invasive alternative to current heart assist devices.
3. Anti-rejection Drug Alternative - The development of a heart assist webbing could provide an alternative to anti-rejection drugs that carry a risk of immune system suppression.
Industry Implications
1. Medical Devices - The biocompatible heart webbing and heart assist sensor technology have the potential to disrupt the medical device industry by providing a new alternative solution for heart disease treatment.
2. Pharmaceuticals - The potential for a heart assist webbing to replace the need for anti-rejection drugs could disrupt the pharmaceutical industry by reducing the demand for these types of drugs.
3. Biotechnology - The use of biocompatible materials in the heart assist webbing represents an opportunity for disruption in the biotechnology industry by creating new materials with unique applications in medical devices.
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