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Electric heart sock could make pacemakers history

ANI  |  London 

Scientists have developed a bendy implant that can cover the entire surface of an organ to monitor health and treat disease.

Because the sock completely surrounds the heart and could be designed to include electrodes that stimulate the heart, it can be used as an alternative to a pacemaker to help heartbeat's regulation.

John Rogers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his team embedded 68 tiny sensors into a sheet of silicone that they fitted around a 3D printed replica of a rabbit heart, New Scientist reported.

The scientists then transferred this to a rabbit heart, which was beating outside the animal's body.

Getting the pressure absolutely right was of prime importance, as pushing too hard on the heart could disrupt a heartbeat.

Comparing data from sensors on the sock to that captured by various imaging methods showed that the sensors can detect physical properties like temperature, electrical activity and pH in different regions of the organ.

First Published: Wed, February 26 2014. 15:19 IST