Their creation is not actually the first to show a heart patient that a heart attack is not the only possible result of heart attack; it is the most accurate one. But this is a significant advancement: since the first heart attack patients received a “smart” heart monitor after surgery, this latest invention can not only tell at first glance what patients are experiencing, but can also monitor a heart attack as it happens. The research team, led by Alexander Zhiryakov, also found that the invention could save up to 22 minutes and 22 seconds per heart attack patient, while minimizing heart muscle damage. Zhiryakov is an Associate Professor of Physiology, Human Physiology, and Bioengineering, of Stanford University. And lastly, this innovation is “not going to kill us,” because it not only reduces the chance of a heart attack and allows a doctor to tell on the first, second, and third chance, but also helps improve a doctor’s prognosis. According to Prof. Zhiryakov, the invention works by coating a small amount of nanoparticles that are a couple of times smaller than the diameter of a human hair (about the size of a hair strand). When the microscopic particles bump into cells, they attach to the cell’s membrane, causing the cells to break down. By removing the nanoparticles, these cells continue to function normally. In future research, for example, when some of the nanoparticles are removed, it would reduce tissue damage to heart muscle. This innovation was developed as a possible application to the treatment of heart and blood vessel problems. Zhiryakov also spoke at the International Heart Congress in New York City:
There have been many attempts to find ways to get a better understanding of heart and blood vessel problems. A recent one has been to develop a smart watch for the early stages of heart attack, but of course this isn’t very useful once the heart attack occurs. In the new trial, the goal is to take advantage of the novel idea , and find ways to monitor a patient ashe falls into heart palpitations or the beginnings of heart arrest.The concept of a “smart” heart monitor has been around in some circles for some time. The idea is basically to use a patient’s own sensors to look out for problems. I think this method would take more time and money than we can afford in medicine at the moment–but it is a much faster way to develop treatments. The idea is actually based on the idea developed by the physicist James C. Moore, PhD. of Penn State University. In his book “The Physics of the Heart”, Moore argues that a problem with heart patients’ heart function would be better addressed by placing sensors in the chest or abdomen, which are directly connected to the heart. The heart would respond to stimulation, and the sensors would produce electrical pulses, which would be analyzed to detect a problem in heart function , and then to send signals that would “send the patient elsewhere to be treated.””The “smart” heart monitors proposed by Prof. Zhiryakov and his team will be the first to use this new approach to monitor heart problems and to take steps to improve the prognoses ofpatients who have heart problems. And this innovative approach will have an impact on heart disease treatment as a whole. The technology has so far only been tested as a possible application to heart disease treatment, but it can do wonders forpreventingheart attack, and for helping detect the heart condition that leads to heart attack. At this stage the technology is still largely a work in progress, but hopefully with time and a little more funding from Stanford, the scientists might gain access to the appropriate equipment to make it a reality. It is not clear where this technology will turn out to be, but the researchers seem very optimistic that more people will be ready. The Heart Attack Study by Stanford researchers is featured in the April 6, 2009 issue of
Biology Today .
The article contains a map of the location of heart attacks in the US. To read the article in full, click here .