Monday 26 September 2016

Incredible medical breakthrough could benefit people with cardiac defects

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 06/10/2015 | 13:54

The reflective balloon pictured inside the body
Credit: Boston Children's Hospital
The reflective balloon pictured inside the body Credit: Boston Children's Hospital

An incredible medical breakthrough has been made by a leading team of scientists in Boston, who have engineered a method of repairing holes in the heart without having to resort to invasive surgery.

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The talented team created a new model catheter using biodegradable glue and a customised patch that is inserted inside the patient's veins and are guided to their heart.

Once installed it uses a reflective balloon and a UV light to administer the patch and activate its sticky coating.

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This new practice differs to conventional open heart surgery in many ways.

Firstly it is not necessary to stop the heart in order to repair it.

Also, the heart tissue doesn't need to be cut into which is a vast improvement on traditional methods.

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Some devices that are inserted into the body move out of position as surrounding tissue continues to grow but this clever patch allows the cardiac tissue to create its own closure and once it's not needed it dissolves.

"This really is a completely new platform for closing wounds or holes anywhere in the body," says Conor Walsh, founder of the Harvard Biodesign Lab.

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