This amazing 3D piece of silicone dotted with electronics looks like something out of the future—because it is. In fact, this potential pacemaker replacement fits over the human heart and is capable of monitoring and, soon, responding to, its vital signs.
Developed by researchers from the University of Alberta and the University of Illinois, the device is shaped to resemble the pericardium—the membrane surrounding the heart. It's covered in 68 tiny sensors capable of tracking temperature, mechanical strain and pH, and is designed with flexible, S-shaped circuitry to exert minimal forces on the heart as it expands and contracts. The research is reported in Nature Communications.