Artificial heart technology has been around a while, but this new invention by European scientists is so convincing in its emulation of a real heart’s action that if you plot its output blood flow and show “the graphs to a cardiac surgeon, he will say it’s a human heart” apparently. It also beats previous designs in that it shouldn’t need external wiring connectors and its biosynthetic “skin” means it won’t develop clots that pose a stroke risk to patients.
Instead, wearers will use some kind of trans-dermal technique to recharge its battery—which otherwise lasts 5 to 16 hours—such as an external transformer. It’s also smart enough to react to the demands of the body, and the internal motors, compressors and valves that emulate a real heart’s action step up their pace, upping blood throughput after its sensor detects the body beginning to do something strenuous,
Developed by Frances leading cardiac surgeon and a team of engineers from the companies that also make Airbusses, the heart’s already been tested in calves and sheep. But don’t go on a heart-destroying burger binge just yet, since its first human trials are a few years away, and routine use in operating rooms would be a while beyond that. [TheTimes]