A revolutionary heart that doesn't beat has been developed by a group of scientists.
Chief medical officer William Cohn of BiVACOR, the company working on the new bionic heart, said that the average human heart has to beat 42 million times a year, which means that if it were replaced with a machine with a lot of moving parts, it would quickly wear out, the ABC News reported.
AdvertisementCohn noted that the device, which has only one moving part that propels blood through the body instead of pumping it, has performed in many respects better than any artificial heart anybody has come up with in the last 50 years, adding that they consider it the first legitimate shot on goal for a permanent mechanical replacement for the failing human heart.
When Australian researcher Daniel Timms came to him three years ago looking for a new home for his project, Cohn said he knew it was something special, even though Timms didn't have a working prototype at the time.
Cohn added that researchers around the world had been working on the project for Timms without pay and they all relocated to Houston.
He continued that the BiVACOR team has now developed a working prototype and put it into large animals and they are able to walk on a treadmill and live for a month before the team culls them to examine the heart's effect on their liver, brain and other organs. Kidney function, lung function, everything works beautifully throughout.
Cohn said that the heart, which is about half the size of a soda can, has a spinning disk with fins suspended by two magnetic fields so that it's never touching anything and spins 2,000 to 3,000 times a minute.
The disk micro-adjusts 20,000 times a second to keep the disk spinning flat and because the right side of your heart works harder when you cough, and the left side of your heart works harder when you exercise, it also adjusts the balance 20 times a second.