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Cardiac Patients Take NASA Super Plastic to Heart
Date:5/6/2009

WASHINGTON, May 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A NASA technology that was developed for an aerospace high-speed research program is now part of an implantable device for heart failure patients.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO)

NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., created an advanced aerospace resin, named Langley Research Center's Soluble Imide, or LaRC-SI. It is highly flexible, resistant to chemicals, and withstands extreme hot and cold temperatures. The "super plastic" was determined to be biologically inert, making it suitable for medical use, including implantable devices.

"One of the advantages of this material is that it lends itself to a variety of diverse applications, from mechanical parts and composites to electrical insulation and adhesive bonding," said Rob Bryant, a NASA Langley senior researcher and inventor of the material.

In July 2004, NASA licensed the patented insulation technology to Medtronic Inc., a Minneapolis-based medical technology company. Medtronic Inc. incorporated the material into its Attain Ability left-heart lead, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved.

The use of this NASA-developed material in a medical implant is the latest in a long line of medical applications that have benefited from NASA technology.

"Langley Research Center's Soluble Imide is an excellent example of how taxpayer investment in NASA materials research has resulted in a direct benefit beyond the aerospace sector by extending the quality of life through medical technology," Bryant said.

Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle is unable to pump effectively to meet the body's need for blood and oxygen. It is a chronic and progressive condition that affects more than five million Americans and m
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SOURCE NASA
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