“Future of Implantable Devices: Conformal High-Definition Electronics”
Life saving medical devices significantly extended life expectancy by providing cardiac rhythm support. However, implantable pacemakers and defibrillators are limited by low resolution/definition sensing and therapy delivery channels. High definition cardiac mapping has been an important experimental and clinical tool for understanding normal and conduction and arrhythmia mechanisms. Electrode heart “socks” are effective tools that increase the spatial resolution of recording propagation patterns, but it is difficult to achieve quality contact across the whole epicardial surface with these devices. But such approaches were limited to acute studies. Taking advantage o recent advances in materials science fabrication technology and innovative circuit design, a novel platform has emerged for the development of devices that can monitor multiple parameters simultaneously with high spatial resolution and follow the curvilinear surface of the beating heart. Such devices are built on stretchable contour-fitting membranes custom designed to fit the geometry of the heart. A diverse array of multiparametric sensors can be laced in custom orientations across the membrane, spanning the entire epicardial surface. With future developments, these membranes can be implemented as continuous monitors of cardiac performance, providing clinicians with a set of internal high definition multiparametric monitors and therapeutic devices that could significantly improve cardiac function and further extend life expectancy.