Scientists develop pacemaker that dissolves in body

This new innovation can be used by patients who need temporary assistance to regulate their heartbeat.

Scientists in the US have developed a wireless pacemaker that can dissolve in the body, which is most beneficial for patients who do not need permanent pacemakers to regulate their heartbeat.

Prof. John A Rogers of Northwestern University in Illinois, US, a co-author of the study revealing the new model, said that “after a critical risk period, the pacing functionality is no longer needed.”

Pacemakers can already be used temporarily; however, these have shown problems, including infection risks due to leads that are placed through the skin. When the device is removed, there can be damage to the heart tissues.

“This is an exciting and innovative development which could be useful for some patients after cardiac surgery who develop a temporary problem with the electrical conduction of their heartbeat,” said Prof Sir Nilesh Samani, the medical director at the British Heart Foundation, who welcomed the study.

“This will need further testing to establish that it is safe and effective but, if this proves to be case, then it could prevent patients ending up with permanent pacemakers unnecessarily.”

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