Jun 15, 2021

This Maglev Heart Could Keep Cardiac Patients Alive

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Circa 2019 o,.o.

For more than 50 years, cardiac surgeons and biomedical engineers at the Texas Heart Institute (THI) have been questing for an artificial heart that can fully replace natural ones, which are in terribly short supply for transplant. They’ve seen their share of metal and plastic contraptions that used a variety of pumping mechanisms, but none of these machines could match the astounding performance of the human heart.

In April 2019, the possible culmination of that long quest was inside a shaggy brown cow, which stood peacefully chewing its cud at a THI research facility in Houston. The animal was part of a 90-day trial in which it lived its life powered by an implanted artificial heart made by our company, Bivacor. Throughout the trial, the calf stayed healthy and energetic, and gained weight at a normal rate. It even jogged on a treadmill for 30-minute stretches.

Our company is now working toward human trials of our device. It relies on a dramatic new approach: Rather than using a mechanical pump that mimics the structure and actions of the four-chambered human heart, it uses a spinning disk, suspended in a magnetic field. With just one moving part, the Bivacor heart is able to send oxygen-rich blood out to the body and return oxygen-depleted blood to the lungs.

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