Artificial Heart Could Give Transplant Patients More Hope

With the help of a $2.8 million NIH grant, researchers in Texas are developing a pulseless total artificial heart (TAH) that imitates how the heart responds to conditions inside the body. The device, which could help patients awaiting a heart transplant, would be able to perform the function of both ventricles to address the body's need for blood. It has two continuous flow pumps (about the size of a C battery) to help prevent mechanical fatigue.

October 10, 2008

1 Min Read
Artificial Heart Could Give Transplant Patients More Hope

The pulmonary pump delivers oxygen-depleted blood to the lungs and sends oxygenated blood to the heart, and the systemic pump carries oxygenated blood away from the heart to the body and returns deoxygenated blood back to the heart.University of Houston professors Matthew Franchek and Ralph Metcalfe are working with Bud Frazier from the Texas Heart Institute to develop the device, along with professors from Rice University and researchers from MicroMed Technology (Houston).Using mathematic models of the cardiovascular system, Franchek and Metcalfe will be working on creating a feedback controlled that will integrate the device into the patient's body. The goal of the work is to make a smaller continuous-flow ventricular assist device that is more reliable than current pumps that mimic the heart.

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