[ExI] Subject: Re: Future Bodies
pharos at gmail.com
Sat Jan 18 17:23:25 UTC 2014
On Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 4:09 PM, Ben Zaiboc wrote:
> True, we don't yet have anything that is as good as the biological heart.
> But the heart is a single point of failure for the entire organism. I think
> we can do better, and maybe combine biology with good design. How about
> more than one heart? How about a distributed heart, that uses cardiac cells
> along sections of major arteries, so that the blood vessels themselves are
> the pump? Or each organ having its own heart, or even two, one at the
> arterial connection, and one at the venous connection, so that organs that
> need to, can regulate their own blood pressure (a bit like the kidney does,
> but better).
Found it! I thought I remembered reading about a new artificial heart.
the first Carmat bioprosthetic artificial heart to ever be implanted
in a human. According to its inventor, cardiac surgeon Alain
Carpentier, it's the world's first self-regulating artificial heart.
When Carpentier uses the term "self-regulating," he refers to the
Carmat's ability to speed up or slow down its flow rate based on the
patient’s physiological needs – if they're performing a vigorous
physical activity, for instance, the heart will respond by beating
faster. This is made possible via "multiple miniature embedded
sensors" and proprietary algorithms running on its integrated
Power comes from an external lithium-ion battery pack worn by the
patient, and a fuel cell is in the works. The heart itself is intended
to operate continuously for at least five years (or 230 million beats)
although in its first human trials, success will be gauged on whether
or not it allows recipients to survive for at least another month.
Needless to say, volunteers receiving the implant will already be in
the final stages of heart failure.
Assuming the trials go well, the Carmat is expected to be available
within the European Union by early 2015, priced between 140,000 and
180,000 euros (about US$190,000 to $250,000).
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