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HeartLander in the news:

New York Times

New Scientist



Business Week

Today in Cardiology


HeartLander is a miniature mobile robot that delivers minimally invasive therapy to the surface of the beating heart. The novelty of HeartLander is that it provides a single device for stable and localized sensing, mapping, and treatment over the entire surface of the heart. Additionally, it reduces the damage necessary to access the heart.

Under physician control, the robot:
  1. enters the chest through an incision below the sternum (details),
  2. adheres to the surface of the heart (details),
  3. travels to the desired location (details), and
  4. administers the therapy (details)
HeartLander Illustration


This concept offers several advantages over robotics currently used in cardiac surgery:
  • Inherent Stabilization: adhesion to the heart surface means that HeartLander is not disturbed by the beating motion of the heart
  • Localized Sensing: sensors located on the robot measure physical properties directly from the heart surface, and map the readings to the exact location
  • No Lung Deflation: the flexibility of the insertion point allows a subxiphoid approach that does not breach the lung space (outpatient potential)
  • Enhanced Access: locomotion allows HeartLander to reach any location on the heart surface and easily change operative fields from a single incision
  • Inexpensive and Disposable: the commercialized system will cost far less than robotic tele-operative surgical systems used currently


The cardiac therapies currently being developed for administration from HeartLander are:
  • ablation for atrial fibrillation
  • lead placement for biventricular pacing (see results)
  • delivery of myocardial regenerative treatments (see results)

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