Nov 6, 2008

Artificial Heart to be Ready on 2011--European Research Team

heartThere is a shortage of heart donors approximately 20,000 every year in the whole world. This is the main reason why the European Research Team headed by Professor Alain Carpentier designed an implantable artificial heart which will be manufactured and ready for human use by 2011.

What is the Artificial Heart made of?

"We are moving from pure research to clinical applications. After 15 years of work, we are handing over to industry to produce an artificial heart usable by man," the heart transplant specialist, Alain Carpentier said.

According to AFP, "Shaped like a real heart, with the same blood flow rhythms, the prototype uses the same technology as prosthetic heart valves developed by Carpentier and already used around the world.

Made from chemically treated animal tissues, these "biomaterials" are designed to avoid rejection by the patient's immune system or blood clotting, a recurrent problem with existing artificial hearts, Carpentier said.

Professor Alain Carpentier in an operation^Professor Alain Carpentier (center) in an operation theater

It is aimed at patients suffering after a massive heart attack or with late-stage heart failure, for whom drug therapy, ventricular assistance or heart transplant have failed or are not available.

Up until now, the heart has been tested via digital simulation as well as on animals, with trials revealing "no complications", Carpentier said.

Today's generation of artificial heart is a thumb-sized device implanted in the chest that sucks blood from the heart and pumps it into the aorta, and which has to be recharged every four hours using an external battery."

Artificial Heart to be Ready on 2011--European Research Team

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