Not just any old pacemaker, what you’re looking at above (bottom image) is a thin, elastic circuit-lined membrane that was developed by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington University in St. Louis. It acts as an artificial pericardium – the natural membrane that covers the heart – to sense and interact with the heart in different ways that are relevant to clinical cardiology. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

According to Washington University’s biomedical engineer Igor Efimov, “When it senses such a catastrophic event as a heart attack or arrhythmia, it can also apply a high definition therapy. So it can apply stimuli, electrical stimuli, from different locations on the device in an optimal fashion to stop this arrhythmia and prevent sudden cardiac death.”