Implantable Artificial Heart to Replace 3D Bioprinted Organs

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The Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), developed working artificial heart to help patients suffering from cardiovascular disorders until they undergo heart transplant

The new device developed by OHSU is made up of titanium alloy coating, which resembles spare car part. The device is unlike other artificial hearts with just one moving part and no valves. The moving part is a titanium alloy-coated hollow rod that shuttles back and forth inside a titanium tube, suspended within that tube on hydrodynamic bearings. This apparatus serves the same purpose as the two lower chambers of the heart, circulating blood first to the lungs and then throughout the body.

The artificial heart was developed by Dr. Richard Wampler, with spinoff company OregonHeart. The device creates a blood flow similar to a natural human pulse to oppose continuous flow. Researchers believe that this device can minimize blood damage and clotting along with reducing risk for gastrointestinal bleeding and stroke. “Considering the human heart beats 14 million times a year, it’s crucial that an artificial heart is durable and robust,” said Sanjiv Kaul, scientist working on the design. “The simple, efficient design of our total artificial heart makes its potential for failure very low

The device is powered by rechargeable battery pack that is wearable on belt or carried in pocket. Researchers believe that the device could be implanted under the skin with external source of charging in near future. OHSU heart have been successfully implanted in cows and sheep for short periods. The scientists are working on developing a smaller model to implant in sheep for three-month-long tests, followed by human trials.

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