First artificial heart transplanted
French scientists announced the world’s first transplant of an artificial heart. The patient is a 75-year-old man who had heart defects incompatible with life. The operation took place on December 18, but was officially announced only on the Christmas Eve.
The 75 yo patient is alive — he already gets up, sits down and is trying to walk; the weight of the artificial heart is only 900 grams. Previous samples made by the US scientists weighed over 15 pounds and so were unsuitable for practical use. Artificial heart runs on lithium-ion battery, fixed on a special belt. The patient must always carry the battery (6.6 pounds).
The new artificial heart was created thanks to space technologies. The author, French cardiologist Alain Carpentier, was engaged in this project for the 25 years. For its implementation the doctor and his colleagues created a private company Carmat, which immediately entered a transnational concern “Astrum”, dedicated to space technologies and servicing the International Space Station.
The creation of biomechanical heart took 5 years. Carpentier heart integrates the high-tech biological materials based on cow’s blood vessels and components used in the creation of spacecraft manufacture.
Artificial heart is designed for 5 years of continuous work. Throughout its lifespan the heart will be connected to the hospital’s computer via the Internet, to ensure continuous monitoring of its work. By the end of the year within the clinical trials program the artificial heart will be installed to other patients with incurable pathologies. One artificial heart costs more than $200,000.