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Science & Technology

First ever bionic heart doesn't have a beat

March 12, 2015 | Comment icon 20 comments



Patients could soon be walking around without a heartbeat. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Stethoscopes
Scientists have developed an artificial heart that can pump blood around the body without beating.
Developed in Australia, the BiVACOR bionic heart has the potential to keep blood pumping around a patient's body for up to ten years and to do it without that person exhibiting any sort of pulse.

Being much smaller and less prone to wear and damage than other types of artificial hearts, the new bionic organ has proven so successful in animal trials that it could start appearing in human patients within as little as three years.
In a departure from the conventional idea of a beating heart, the device instead spins two titanium discs at 2,000 revolutions per minute to push the blood through the body.

"We've now shown that the device works," said science team member Daniel Timms. "This idea is viable. Now it's a matter of making it robust and reliable so that it works in a patient."

Given the number of people who have need of a new heart every year and how few donor hearts are available to meet that demand, the new bionic heart could soon be saving thousands of lives.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (20)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #11 Posted by aquatus1 8 years ago
Back in the military, without getting into the details, I was once subject to a chemical that froze your body functions. A second later, I was injected with the counter to it, and everything started up again, but I have to say that second in between, when you suddenly stop feeling the pulse of blood in your body...that has to be the most eerie feeling I have ever felt.
Comment icon #12 Posted by AstralHorus 8 years ago
I'D take Mice over Humans any day, not that mice aren't cool.
Comment icon #13 Posted by KevinP 8 years ago
Quite amazing. This will redefine how we determine if someone is living or not. If a person with one of these hearts is unconscious, someone may think they just died. I also wonder what type of power source is used as 2000 rpm must use a large amount of energy. The batteries and controller is external which allows mobility. It actually only has one moving part, which reminds me of a movie back in the early eighties with Donald Sutherland called "Threshold", in which he implants a young girl with a self contained artificial heart. Here's a wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threshold_(1981... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by monkeyman2269 8 years ago
I'd have to say no heart beat feeling would be weird
Comment icon #15 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot 8 years ago
Not at all, most of our advancements in medicine and medical procedures came from the nazi's experimenting on humans. Anyway , I wonder if it makes you kind of superhuman? For example a life threatening injury that could normally stop the heart beating or drowning? seems to me like were evolving into machines, destined to become emortal I don't know about it, yes they ( Nazis ) were doing all sorts of crazy things.. Hmm, will check it out, maybe u have some nice links to share please. As our understanding of how body functions grow we also learn ways of possible 'repairs' or replacements. We a... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by third_eye 8 years ago
Cupid better come up with some better arrowheads ~
Comment icon #17 Posted by toast 8 years ago
Not at all, most of our advancements in medicine and medical procedures came from the nazi's experimenting on humans. The claim that 50% of our todays knowledge in medical science has been generated by the nazis, and so in between 1933+1945, is utter nonsense and indicates that the person who placed this claim does not know what s/he is talking about.
Comment icon #18 Posted by spud the mackem 8 years ago
Carry a Battery Charger around with you,and don't go near any magnets.
Comment icon #19 Posted by FlyingAngel 8 years ago
I bet changing the batteries is a pain. The human body itself is a living battery
Comment icon #20 Posted by Father Merrin 8 years ago
Back in the military, without getting into the details, I was once subject to a chemical that froze your body functions. A second later, I was injected with the counter to it, and everything started up again, but I have to say that second in between, when you suddenly stop feeling the pulse of blood in your body...that has to be the most eerie feeling I have ever felt. Josef Mengele was very cruel doing that too you!


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