New Scientist:美国的研制造出拥有水蛭功能的心脏手术装置

关键词:水蛭功能,心脏表面,心脏手术

    美国的研究人员发明一种拥有水蛭功能的机械小装置。在动物实验显示,这项装置可在心脏表面游走,将使医生不用开刀便可进行心脏手术,大大降低手术风险,而且可让病人康复得更快。

    根据最新一期New Scientist中的报告指出,由美国宾州匹兹堡卡内基梅隆大学机械研究所研发的新科技,相当类似科幻电影桥段的机械装置HeartLander,其特点是细小灵活,仅长数厘米及重2盎司,由金属线连接;医生可以观看计算机屏幕,利用操纵杆可操控装置,移动速度可达每分钟18厘米。

    率领相关研究的Cameron Riviere医生表示,新装置可在仍然跳动的心脏表面游动,可减低为病人进行心脏绕道手术所带来的风险,也不用像目前需要开胸或抽出左肺的空气才可进行心脏手术般复杂,相信能大大缩短患者康复的时间,这意味病人或不用被麻醉,而且可以即日出院返家。

    HeartLander可将起搏器的导线安装进心脏;将来医生亦可利用此装置注射干细胞入心脏,藉此修复已坏死的心脏组织,令病人的心跳回复正常。目前研究人员已经成功地利用这种装置为猪只做心脏手术,但他们预计至少要多花3年时间才可以在人类身上测试,到2013年才有机会广泛应用。

     (资料来源 : BBC)

原始出处:

Creepy-crawly robot to mend a broken heart

  • 18 April 2007
  • Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition. Subscribe and get 4 free issues
  • Tom Simonite

A  device that sounds like a 21st-century version of a medicinal leech may soon be set loose inside the chests of heart patients. Resembling a robotic caterpillar, it will crawl across the surface of their beating heart, delivering treatment without the need for major surgery.

The device, called HeartLander, can be inserted using minimally invasive keyhole surgery. Once in place, it will attach itself to the heart and begin inching its way across the outside of the organ, injecting drugs or attaching medical devices. In tests on live pigs, the HeartLander has fitted pacemaker leads and injected dye into the heart. This video shows the latest prototype creeping over the surface of a beating model heart (2.1MB, mpg format).

The 20-millimetre-long robot has two suckers for feet, each pierced with 20 holes connected to a vacuum line, which hold it onto the outside of the heart. By moving its two body segments back and forth relative to one another it can crawl across the heart at up to 18 centimetres per minute. This back-and-forth movement is generated by pushing and pulling wires that run back to motors outside the patient's body. The robot is being developed by Cameron Riviere and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The plan is to insert the HeartLander through an incision below the ribcage, and pass it through a further incision in the membrane that encloses the heart. Surgeons keep track of the device using X-ray video or a magnetic tracker, and control its movements via a joystick.

Traditional open-heart surgery requires a massive incision, and the heart usually has to be stopped to make it easier to operate safely. Though minimally invasive procedures on a beating heart are sometimes possible, some areas of the heart are out of reach to instruments inserted through the keyhole incisions, and the limited space in the chest cavity makes operating difficult.

"HeartLander can reach all parts of the heart's surface," Riviere says. And because it is stationary relative to the heart's surface, there is no need to interfere with the organ's movement.

Entering the body from a single small incision could even allow some heart procedures to be performed without a general anaesthetic, he says. "It avoids having to disturb the ribcage, or to deflate the left lung to access the heart."

"This device is certainly like nothing else I've seen," says Andrew Rankin, a cardiologist at the University of Glasgow in the UK. Many procedures can be performed by passing instruments into the heart through blood vessels, but this is not possible where damaged or diseased tissue is close to the heart's surface. "This device could be useful in those cases," Rankin says.

He suggests it might come into its own for future treatments such as stem cell therapies to encourage regeneration of heart tissue. "You can imagine this device moving around the surface of a scarred heart to deliver treatments."

"You can imagine this device moving around the surface of a scarred heart"

The researchers are now working on adding a radio-frequency probe to the device, to treat arrhythmias by selectively killing malfunctioning heart tissue. They also plan to add a camera.

From issue 2600 of New Scientist magazine, 18 April 2007, page 26

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