A current trend in cardiac surgical practice is to work with an actively beating heart, rather than the more usual suppression of heart activity by low temperature. But carrying out surgical manipulation on a beating heart can lead to other problems if blood supply to the heart tissue itself is obstructed.
Three simultaneous techniques
The VIACORTIS project has developed three techniques which can be used side by side to give detailed information on the way the heart tissue is coping, so that the surgeon has early warning signals if it is becoming too stressed. Project coordinator Dr Algimantas Krisciukaitis of the Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuania, explains: “The novelty of our method is that we developed quantitative criteria to measure heart damage. We can measure the electrical potential of the heart muscle, compare it at the same time with the biochemical activity of the tissue, and map its local heat pattern.” These three parameters together reveal early and small changes in the functional state of the heart tissue, and their exact location. This gives vital information to the surgeon on the extent of tissue damage and the time he has available to complete the procedure.
A Lithuanian-led project, VIACORTIS brought together the Biomedical Research Institute and the Heart Centre of Kaunas University, plus the Laser Research Centre of Vilnius University and Elinta Uab, a small company with expertise in multi-channel analysis of biological signals. The German partner was the Free University of Berlin’s Institute for Medical Physics and Laser Medicine, which developed the equipment to measure fluorescence as an indicator of biochemical activity. The German Institute also worked closely with Dr Krisciukaitis’ group in Kaunas to correlate fluorescence with electrical activity.
Development for the future
Because the VIACORTIS results introduce quantitative measurement of these indicators, they have made it possible to draw up optimum protocols for routine use of a range of surgical methods - showing clearly when urgency is great or when the heart tissue is not under excessive pressure. The project has successfully demonstrated the use of the triple-monitoring system, which is now ready for further development of the equipment, followed by testing, approval and manufacture, before surgeons can make use of the extra support it can offer. The results of this development have been published in journals and at conferences. “It was useful to be a EUREKA project because it gave us international recognition and government support for the participation of a small company, which worked hard and did great things,” states Dr Krisciukaitis.
Catherine Shiels | alfa
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology