CHLA y USC crean el primer micropacemaker lleno-implantable para los fetos

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | March 30, 2015
Cardiology Medical Devices Pediatrics
Courtesy of Children's
Hospital Los Angeles
Researchers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the University of Southern California have created the first fully-implantable micropacemaker for fetuses with congenital heart block. The FDA has already designated it as a Humanitarian Use Device and preclinical testing results have been published in the journal Heart Rhythm.

Previously, physicians tried to treat the condition by implanting a small portion of an adult pacemaker inside of the fetus and leaving the rest of the device external. But that approach has been unsuccessful because if the fetus moved then the electrodes would dislodge from the heart.

The researchers built on their previous experience of microfabrication techniques to create biomedical devices to develop a pacemaker small enough to fit inside of a fetus.

This is an important breakthrough for the estimated 500 pregnancies in the U.S. that are affected by this condition. "This novel device provides a real opportunity to prevent miscarriage and premature birth in babies affected with these abnormalities,” Dr. Ramen H. Chmait, director of the CHLA-USC Institute for Maternal-Fetal Health, said in a statement.

The researchers expect to implant the first micropacemaker in a fetus in the near future.

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