This rabbit's heart is beating outside the animal that once hosted it. And it is alive! It is pumping blood on its own thanks to a new electronic membrane. One day, it could save your life by keeping your heart beating at a perfect rate.

The thin, circuit-lined stretchable membrane has been developed by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington University in St. Louis. In 10 to 15 years, we may have a similar system for our hearts thanks to this.

The scientists made the membrane fit precisely to the shape of the rabbit's heart. They scanned it and created a 3D model using computer aided tomography, and manufactured the model in a 3D printer, and they used it as a mold to create the membrane. They took the heart out, applied the membrane, and kept it beating at a perfect pace.

The device is like an artificial pericardium, which is the natural membrane that covers the heart. According to researcher John Rorgers, co-leader of the team:
But this artificial pericardium is instrumented with high quality, man-made devices that can sense and interact with the heart in different ways that are relevant to clinical cardiology.
Washington University's biomedical engineer Igor Efimov says that it is a huge advancement. The circuits you're seeing are a combination of sensors that constantly track the tissues' behavior and electrodes that precisely regulate the heart muscles movement:
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.
Amazing! Check out the video below: