Approaching the Goal Line

May 1, 2002

1 Min Read
Approaching   the Goal Line

Originally Published MX May/June 2002


Approaching the Goal Line

AbioCor implantable components illustrated in one recommended clinical position. The round power-transfer coil may alternatively be placed in the right chest.

Now in clinical trials at five U.S. medical centers—and soon to enter clinical trials in Europe—the AbioCor artificial replacement heart is a fully implantable prosthetic system intended as a substitute for severely diseased human hearts in patients suffering from coronary artery disease or some form of end-stage congestive heart failure.

The device incorporates many advanced technologies developed over the two decades since clinical trials were conducted with the preceding generation of artificial heart devices. Operation of the device following implantation, for instance, does not require any tubes or wires to pass through the skin. Power to drive the prosthetic heart is transmitted across the intact skin, avoiding skin penetration that can result in infection.

An internal controller regulates the delivery of power from an external unit to the prosthetic heart. A rechargeable internal battery allows the patient to be completely free of the external power-transmission unit for some period of time, monitored by the

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