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    Device Maps Electrical Activity of Beating Heart

    Flexible, implantable device tested in pig heart

    FRIDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- A flexible, implantable device that wraps around the heart has been used to generate high-resolution maps of the organ's electrical activity in an animal study reported in the March 24 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

    Noting that current implantable medical devices such as pacemakers are rigid and planar, and each electrode is connected to separate control systems, Jonathan Viventi, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues developed a mechanically flexible device composed of 2,016 silicon transistors spaced closely together designed to wrap around the surfaces of soft, wet tissues in the body.

    Using the device, the researchers recorded electrical activity directly from a beating pig heart in vivo and generated high-density maps of electrical activity through 288 amplified and multiplexed channels. They note that the device is able to collect large amounts of data at high speeds and that the circuits are located directly at the tissue, allowing the signals to be processed there, unlike other devices where the circuits are located elsewhere in the body.

    "The capacity to intimately integrate modern semiconductor technology with the soft, fluid-bathed, curvilinear and moving surfaces of the human body may enable the development of advanced devices for diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical applications," Viventi and colleagues conclude.

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