Trans-catheter deployment of soft, patient-specific implants

Year 2023
Project team Ellen Roche with Connor Verheyen, Keegan Mendez, Markus Horvath and Sophie Wang
Stroke risk is five times higher in patients with atrial fibrillation
Implanted devices can help prevent strokes
Prefab designs do not always meet variable patient needs

When one size doesn’t fit all

Atrial fibrillation is the most common form of arrhythmia, leading to 500,000 hospitalizations and $26 billion a year in health care spending. Patients are five times more likely to suffer a stroke. One preventative treatment is to implant a device in the heart to seal off the left atrial appendage; however, the devices are limited by predefined shape and sizes and are often mismatched to variations in patient anatomy, leading to frequent complications and failures. This team is developing technology to build customized, soft implants at target sites in the body, such as the heart, that would enable optimal treatment outcomes.