Hybrid Heart: Your thoughts around the development of a robotic heart that could prevent deaths from heart failure


Researchers in the Netherlands are seeking funding to create a solution for heart failure by developing a pioneering soft robotic heart – and in May 2021 we gathered the opinions of the PH community to help them with their bid.

The ‘Hybrid Heart’ consists of a soft robotic shell, artificial muscles and sensors to enable natural motion. Tissue-engineered lining will make sure all surfaces in contact with blood are safe. Energy transfer (electricity) will be transferred wirelessly from a close power source worn in the patient’s clothing.

The hope is that the Hybrid Heart could replace the need for heart transplantation from human donors, meaning more lives can be saved.

For people with pulmonary hypertension, it means that a heart transplant alone – without lungs too – would be possible, because unlike a human heart, the right side of the Hybrid Heart would be able to deal with the pressures caused by PH.

The project has been shortlisted with three others for up to £30m of funding from the British Heart Foundation.

There were 199 responses to our survey about the innovation. Find the full results here.

Responses were overwhelmingly positive, with 100% of respondents stating they think the potential development of the Hybrid Heart is ‘very important’ or ‘important’. 99% stated they are ‘very interested’ or ‘interested’ in its development.

Comments included:

“I’m so impressed by this. It’s the first time I’ve felt actual hope around the disease”

“[The] future suddenly seems brighter”

“I’d take this hybrid heart tomorrow if I could.”

Hybrid Heart is led by Professor Jolanda Kluin at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Find out more about the Hybrid Heart project here