Watch this robot help a damaged heart keep beating

Think of it as a hug for damaged hearts.

A multinational team of engineers and physicians have developed a soft robotic implant that wraps around the organ like a rope and helps it pump.

The implantable gizmo, which has shown promise in experiments performed on beating pig hearts, contains electronic smarts which synchronise with the heart's natural rhythm.



"We've combined rigid bracing with soft robotic actuators to gently but sturdily help a diseased heart chamber pump blood effectively," says Dr Nikolay Vasilyev, a cardiac surgeon at Boston Children's Hospital.

The device comprises a collapsible anchor inserted into a ventricle, a bracing bar and a sealing sleeve, all held in place by the

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