An interdisciplinary team including researchers from Northwestern University, US, has developed a multifunctional catheter that can simplify treatment for arrhythmia and other heart diseases.
The catheter is based on stretchable electronics and has all the necessary medical devices printed on a standard balloon catheter.
The catheter features a device for eliminating damaged tissue using heat, temperature and pressure sensors an LED and an electrocardiogram (EKG) sensor.
Once the catheter reaches the heart, it is inflated and the electronics come in contact with the heart, and the individual devices perform the specific tasks when needed.
The multifunctional catheter makes minimally invasive technique for heart surgery simpler, as both diagnostic and treatment capabilities are combined in one.
Lead researcher Huang, Joseph Cummings said the use of one catheter to achieve all the functions will significantly improve clinical arrhythmia therapy by reducing the number of steps in the procedure, thereby saving time and reducing costs.
Researchers have also successfully demonstrated the utility of the device in anaesthetised animals.