Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Artificial Heart, AbioCor, is here!! but I wonder where are we going..

I think this is a milestone.. FDA Approves 1st fully Implantable Artificial Heart.

The AbioCor heart:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the first, totally implantable artificial heart, the AbioCor heart, for patients with advanced heart disease and too ill for a heart transplant.

It is a pure mechanical Heart being implanted into human body. The use of this new heart will be limited to people with severe heart failure who aren't eligible for a heart transplant and are unlikely to live more than a month. The trial was conducted on 14 men, all of whom eventually died. "The device extended survival for an average of 4.5 months, allowing the patients to spend valuable time with family and friends" said Dr. Bram Zuckerman, director of the FDA's Division of Cardiovascular Devices. "In two cases, lives were extended by 10 and 17 months, respectively. One patient was discharged from the hospital."

On July 2nd, 2001, Robert Tools became the first person to receive an AbioCor, artificial heart implant in a nationwide clinical trial in US. He survived for 151 days. Tom Christerson, the longest surviving recipient, lived for 512 days. He died on February 7, 2003 when the heart wore out!

The Device:

Abiomed Inc. Developed this device. This is one of the most complex and expensive devices in medical history.

Right Click here and save, to get a video on how it works

The device is a two-pound mechanical heart that replaces the patient's own heart, which is removed. In addition, there's a power transfer coil that powers the system across the skin (No Piercing of the skin to pass tubes or wires) and recharges the internal battery. This Wireless Power transfer is achieved with an energy transfer device called TET (transcutaneous energy transmission). There's also a controller and an internal battery, which are implanted in the patient's abdomen.

The controller monitors and controls the heart device, including its pumping rate. The internal battery allows the patient to be free from all external connections for up to one hour. The system also includes two external batteries that allow the patient to freely move around for up to two hours.

The AbioCor is made of titanium, plastic and Angioflex, a unique plastic. Unlike commercially available plastic that would crack if flexed that many times, Angioflex was developed to withstand beating 40 million times a year for twenty years.

Compared to your own 10-ounce, fist-sized heart, the softball-sized AbioCor is heavier. At two pounds it is only suitable for half of all men and a fifth of all women.

It is expected that "second-generation" device, AbioCor II, to be available for human clinical trials in about two years.

Click here to read more on this..

Related News:

Pigs Cloned for Heart Transplants.

Xenotransplantation may be closer to reality than you think. Once the stuff of science fiction, the process of transplanting organs from one species to another is now an emerging field.

Local researchers reported in the journal Science that they have cloned pigs that do not have a certain protein barcode. While the absence of these proteins may prevent the recipient's immune system from attacking the new organ, the organ may still be rejected.

More on Xenotransplantation:

Where are we going:

Of course, this is something to be appriciated. But I just wonder where this is going to.. A pure mechanical heart can replace ur natureal one.. true its not the same but still its a man made one! Next could be other organs..

Sometime back, I heard this in Discovery channel. In fighter aircrafts, the limiting factor for the progress in technology is none other than the Pilot inside it.. Isnt it strange.. Even with the best of Pressure Suits, man cannot handle beyond 8G's and will Blackout.. (Blackout - at High G's/acceleration, the oxygen supply to Brain gets reduced and feels like darkness) So in near future, we may see UAV fighter aircrafts.. Is it the first step of Machines taking over :) Even now we are dependant on machines, but the control is still with us.. I dont know when the MATRIX is going to happen.. but it may!


Vinoo said...

Perhaps this is related but in a different angle: Scientists are starting to grow organs in the laboratory from the patients cells. Check this news article:

Just another guy said...

True Vinoo..

Be it Tissue Enginnering, as in this case, or Genetic Engineering, there are so many amasing developments..
This is THE future..