Soft Robotic Heart Sleeve

A Soft Robotic Heart Sleeve is a device that twists and compresses in time with the heartbeat, enhancing cardiovascular functions that have been impaired by heart failure.


Soft Robotic Heart Sleeve
Soft Robotic Heart Sleeve

Globally, 41 million people suffer from Heart Failure. Mechanical pumps known as Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) that pump blood from the ventricles to the aorta and heart transplant are two of the current treatment options; while VADs are improving, patients are still at high risk for blood clots and stroke (brain attack).


Harvard researchers drew inspiration from the heart to build a completely new gadget that does not come into touch with blood. Soft pneumatic actuators put around the heart replicate the outer muscle layers of the human heart in the thin silicon sleeve. In a comparable motion to the beating heart, the actuators twist and compress the sleeve.