According tomedia reports, the battery of a normal pacemaker can only be used for about five years, which means that patients need to undergo several operations to replace. However, the process will soon become easier and safer due to the membrane around the implant.
When a pacemaker is implanted into a patient, fibrosis tissue grows on its smooth surface over time. If the tissue layer is too thick, it can complicate the removal process, which can lead to longer and more complex surgery, increasing the risk of infection or other complications.
To solve this problem, scientists at the ETH Zurich Research Centre in Zurich, led by Professor Dimos Poulikakos, have created a new type of bag-like membrane that is placed around the pacemaker before implantation. It is made of tiny cellulose fibers and has a honeycomb-shaped recess edifice on the surface.
Scientists say the design has two purposes. First, the fibrous microstructure of the membrane hinders the deposition of fibrosis tissue formation proteins on its surface. Second, the dent makes it difficult for any fibrosist tissue cells that do form to adhere to the membrane.
In tests on pigs, each animal implanted two pacemakers – one in a membrane and the other not. The pig’s immune system does not reject these membranes, and when two pacemakers are implanted a year later, they find that the fibrosis layer on the package device is only one-third that of other devices.
Scientists plan to conduct human clinical trials next year at three large heart centers in Germany. ETH derivatives company Hylomorph transformed the technology into Hylomate Pouch.
A paper on the study was recently published in the journal Biomaterials.