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J Artif Organs. 2008;11(3):160-2. doi: 10.1007/s10047-008-0420-9. Epub 2008 Oct 5.

Dynamic cardiomyoplasty using artificial muscle.

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Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, 5 Zaifu-cho, Hirosaki, 036-8562, Japan.


Dynamic cardiomyoplasty using latissimus dorsi muscle was previously used to compensate for congestive heart failure. Now, however, this method is not acceptable because the long-term result was not as expected owing to fatigue of the skeletal muscle. BioMetal fiber developed by Toki Corporation is one of the artificial muscles activated by electric current. The behavior of this fiber is similar to that of organic muscle. We made an artificial muscle like the latissimus dorsi using BioMetal fiber and tested whether we could use this new muscle as a cardiac supporting device. Testing one Biometal fiber showed the following performance: practical use maximal generative force was 30 g, exercise variation was 50%, and the standard driving current was 220 mA. We created a 4 x 12-cm tabular artificial muscle using 8 BioMetal fibers as a cardiac support device. We also made a simulation circuit composed of a 6 x 8-cm soft bag with unidirectional valves, reservoir, and connecting tube. The simulation circuit was filled with water and the soft bag was wrapped with the artificial muscle device. After powering the device electrically at 9 V with a current of 220 mA for each fiber, we measured the inside pressure and observed the movement of the artificial device. The artificial muscle contracted in 0.5 s for peak time and squeezed the soft bag. The peak pressure inside the soft bag was measured as 10 mmHg. Although further work will be needed to enhance the speed of deformability and movement simulating contraction, we conclude that artificial muscle may be potentially useful as a cardiac assistance device that can be developed for dynamic cardiomyoplasty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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