Background: Reentrant ventricular arrhythmias are a major cause of sudden death in patients with structural heart disease. Current treatments focus on electrically homogenizing regions of scar contributing to ventricular arrhythmia with ablation or altering conductive properties using antiarrhythmic drugs. The high conductivity of carbon nanotubes may allow restoration of conduction in regions where impaired electrical conduction results in functional abnormalities. We propose a new concept for arrhythmia treatment using a stretchable, flexible biopatch with conductive properties to attempt to restore conduction across regions in which activation is disrupted. Methods: Carbon nanotube patches composed of nanofibrillated cellulose/single-walled carbon nanotube ink 3-dimensionally printed in conductive patterns onto bacterial nanocellulose were developed and evaluated for conductivity, flexibility, and mechanical properties. The patches were applied on 6 canines to epicardium before and after surgical disruption. Electroanatomic mapping was performed on normal epicardium, then repeated over surgically disrupted epicardium, and then finally with the patch applied passively. Results: We developed a 3-dimensional printable carbon nanotube ink complexed on bacterial nanocellulose that was (1) expressable through 3-dimensional printer nozzles, (2) electrically conductive, (3) flexible, and (4) stretchable. Six canines underwent thoracotomy, and, during epicardial ventricular pacing, mapping was performed. We demonstrated disruption of conduction after surgical incision in all 6 canines based on activation mapping. The patch resulted in restored conduction based on mapping and assessment of conduction direction and velocities in all canines. Conclusions: We have demonstrated 3-dimensional custom-printed electrically conductive carbon nanotube patches can be surgically manipulated to improve cardiac conduction when passively applied to surgically disrupted epicardial myocardium in canines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)