Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. and EBM Corporation 1 have developed a prototype “Super BEAT” surgical training simulator that can reproduce the beating of the heart with extreme accuracy using e-Rubber, 2 an artificial muscle that functions with electricity.
As medical surgeries become more and more sophisticated, ensuring safety becomes increasingly important. In specialties such as cardiovascular surgery, training using simulators becomes compulsory and demand for surgical training simulators is rapidly growing. Toyoda Gosei and EBM began collaborating in November 2017 to develop and promote a simulator that helps surgeons to efficiently improve their surgical skills.
In EBM’s current BEAT simulator, the movement of the heart is simulated with the use of a shape-memory alloy that expands and contracts by heating 3. The Super BEAT high end version of this simulator uses e-Rubber, which expands and contracts rapidly in response to electricity switching on and off. Regulation of fine movement is also possible to mimic states such as complex heartbeat patterns due to arrhythmia or the rapid heartbeat of children, allowing reproduction of an environment closer to that of actual surgery.
About 20 cardiac surgeons participated in a workshop at EBM’s FIST surgical training center in Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan on June 30. Coronary artery bypass surgery simulator training was conducted using Super BEAT in the workshop. Professor Hitoshi Yokoyama of Fukushima Medical University performed this simulator training and was very impressed with the Super BEAT.