Crazy artificial hearts
and even heart-tissue based robots
are nothing new -- to say nothing of the Pimp My Heart
bass-booster -- but actually squeezing your existing heart to extend its life is definitely a novel idea. The concept, from a team at Leeds University, is based around an intelligent, motorized webbing that wraps around your heart. When sensors indicate that your pump needs a jump, the webbing contracts, squeezing blood through your body. It's an elegant take on a pretty low-tech solution, and the team has high hopes the uncomplicated nature of the device will lead to applications from transplant assistance to heart therapy when simulator trials are finished and the webbing leaves the prototype stage -- but sadly, there's no word on when that might be.