Background : Heart failure is one of the principal causes of death and disability. The causes of heart failure are many, and a number of technologies have been developed to address this issue by providing support to the failing heart, both as a permanent solution and as a bridge to recovery. These options are called Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices, a particular branch of these devices is the Ventricular Assist Devices, which have been under intense development over the recent years offering a promising solution for this major problem.However, these devices are still bulky, and heavy designed to support failing hearts in the adult population. On the other hand, little has been done in recent times on the development of implantable solutions for heart failure or insufficiency in children. There are many reasons for this, but primarily the relatively small number of children requiring these procedures, the challenges associated with growth, and the lack of physical space for such implantable circulatory support technologies in children are fundamental limitations to the development and deployment of these technologies.Aims of the project : The primary purpose of this project was to investigate the development of a new miniaturised self-power VAD that is suitable for paediatrics implantation. This project suggested the use of the newly developed Artificial Muscles to create a mesh that envelops the heart and works as an external assisting circulation mechanism. The same materials could be used to generate electricity when deformed, which can be used to power the proposed device. Critically, the project was to focus on optimising the materials with regard to their operating efficiency to ascertain whether they represent a viable option for VAD production.Materials and Methods : A full review of the current available Artificial Muscles was performed to choose the most suitable type for this project. Then different fabrication protocols were developed to make IPMC Artificial Muscles using platinum and palladium coatings. A series of characterization tests were conducted on the fabricated Ionic Polymeric Metal Composites (IPMC) to ensure their quality. Finally, the mechanical and electrical properties were tested and compared with the proposed device requirements.Results : The review of Artificial Muscles showed that IPMC would be the best candidate to use in this application. The characterisation tests showed as well that the produced IPMC Artificial Muscles were fabricated to the same standards as those commercially available, and the reported by other investigators. However, these materials showed very low mechanical output with high electrical power consumption, which made them far from practical and not suitable for the proposed application. On the other hand, IPMCs showed promising results as an option to generate electricity to power low consumption implantable devices.
|Date of Award||6 Oct 2017|
- University Of Strathclyde
|Sponsors||University of Strathclyde|
|Supervisor||Terry Gourlay (Supervisor) & Mary Grant (Supervisor)|