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Study and design of a bioinspired actuation system for a soft robotic total artificial heart

Zrinscak, Debora

Study and design of a bioinspired actuation system for a soft robotic total artificial heart.

Rel. Marcello Chiaberge, Matteo Cianchetti, Cecilia Laschi. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Mechatronic Engineering (Ingegneria Meccatronica), 2018

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Abstract:

With an average of 75 beats per minute, 45,00 beats an hour, 108,000 per day, 39,400,000 in a year, and more than 3 billion beats per lifetime: the heart is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating organs in our bodies. Thanks to its tireless and powerful pumping functionality, indeed, it is responsible of blood oxygenation and circulation throughout our whole life. Pathologic conditions related to the cardiovascular system present, for this reason, a particularly high index of mortality. In fact, despite all the technological advances, every year 26 million people die because of heart failures, leaving, thus, the disease at the first place as single source of death worldwide. The main reason behind such a frightening scenario is the fact that the only solution to the problem is a heart transplant: the donors shortage and the unavailability of an artificial device, able to permanently substitute its natural functionality, then, increase incredibly the number of patients dying during the await. To date, depending on the severity of the pathologic condition, a ventricular assist device or a total artificial heart can be implanted. These devices can be both pulsatile or continuous-flow, electrically, magnetically, fluidically driven. The only FDA-certified total artificial heart device commercially available is the Syncardia TAH, a pneumatic pump, supplied by percutaneous drivelines. Although it reportedly brought to a high number of successful heart transplants, its use is limited to bridge-to-transplant applications, since the longest survival registered as destination therapy is around, but less than, four years. In the last years, however, due to the interest arising out of a growing research in the soft robotics field, completely different solutions have been engineered. By exploiting the use of soft materials, reconfigurable and scalable smart actuation technologies, and bioinspired motions, this new research area seems to be promising in the artificial organs field. Although farsighted, the so far presented devices are still far from being implantable: they opened, however, a completely new and incredibly stimulating range of thinkable solutions. This work aims to design a bioinspired actuation system for a novel typology of soft total artificial heart. In this framework, the studies of the Spanish scientist Francisco Torrent-Guasp represent the solid basis for its development. Indeed, by demonstrating that the myocardium is a unique muscular band, sequentially activating and folded in double helix, Torrent-Guasp unrevealed also the incredible embodied intelligence of this organ. Taking inspiration from this discovery, in this thesis, a simplified geometrical model of the left ventricular chamber and its surrounding muscular arrangement will be presented and discussed, enabling, then, a thoughtful actuating technology choice. The artificial muscular fibre, indeed, will need to have muscle-like contraction characteristics, miniaturization possibilities, sequential activation abilities and present low risks for health in case of future implantability. Along with the considerations about the future models for the control of the muscular sequential activation, the possibly employable soft sensor solutions will be exposed. Thanks to its innovative nature this work lays the foundations for of a novel, bioinspired and fully soft total artificial heart, thus bringing new hopes to the endless research of the heart failures ultimate therapy.

Relatori: Marcello Chiaberge, Matteo Cianchetti, Cecilia Laschi
Anno accademico: 2018/19
Tipo di pubblicazione: Elettronica
Soggetti:
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Mechatronic Engineering (Ingegneria Meccatronica)
Classe di laurea: Nuovo ordinamento > Laurea magistrale > LM-25 - INGEGNERIA DELL'AUTOMAZIONE
Aziende collaboratrici: Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/8616
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