1. What do modern pacemakers look like?
2. Modern technologies in the field of cardiac surgery
3. Safer stimulators
Pacemakers have been a lifesaver for many people who struggle with irregular heartbeat for years. “Starter” is actually a common name. A better term would be stimulator. We implant one when our heart beats too slowly. A device called a cardioverter is used when we struggle with heart rhythm disorders. This is manifested, for example, by ventricular fibrillation. To stop this disorder and pulseless ventricular tachycardia, medics reach for a defibrillator. We meet with this device in intensive care units, in ambulances, emergency rooms or in operating rooms. Modern pacemakers will soon help us get rid of the problem of possible complications after implantation of conventional pacemakers.
Scientists have modernized the technology of creating stimulators and thus made them safer. How? Researchers from across the western border have developed new electrodes that are used in modern pacemakers. Importantly, the pacemaker, due to the fact that the electrodes installed in it are completely biodegradable, is completely safe for our health. Our body is able to absorb such electrodes when we no longer need them. When we implant a pacemaker, we can feel safe, because such operations are generally not dangerous to our health and life. However, consider the fact that traditional starters contain external connecting wires.
That’s why we can get in trouble. Usually, when we no longer need the heart support device, then we can get rid of the electrodes. There are two ways to remove them. The first way is to remove them from the patient’s body, while the second way – safer – is to leave them. To leave them, however, we must precede this action by disconnecting them from the device. Remember that the electrodes in the human body are overgrown with tissue, so removing them is quite risky. Unfortunately, if we leave them in the body, we also cannot feel safe. Occasionally, we can get infections and other complications.
As part of the Remote Care project, German scientists are working on a replacement for conventional electrodes. They would be biodegradable and safe for the human body electrodes. Such electrodes can be easily absorbed by a human being. So what are these electrodes made of? Scientists designed them to be mechanically durable and good electrical conductors. We are able to achieve the above effect thanks to the molybdenum from which such electrodes are made. University employees produced them in such a way that they are strands of molybdenum twisted together. These bands were additionally covered with biopolymers.
By implanting a pacemaker with such electrodes, we will be able to feel completely safe. Manufacturers provide us with electrical insulation during the operation of the starter motor. These electrodes then degrade with absolutely no risk. Researchers are currently working on thoroughly checking the properties of the electrodes. They do this through mechanical, degradation and electrical optimisations. German researchers will start preclinical studies in the near future, so there is a chance that the product will officially enter the world market.