A new ground-breaking bionic heart without a pulse is going to be the next big thing in cardiac implants with within the next three years. The world-first device was designed by an engineer form Brisbane, Dr Daniel Timms, who started the project back in 2001 while studying at the Queensland University of Technology. The bionic heart has recently passed the biggest test when it was successfully transplanted into a healthy sheep. Next on the agenda is human trials, which Dr Timms wants by 2018. Dr Timms said the BiVACOR device, could last up to 10 years longer than previous artificial heart models, because of the lack of wear and tear on its parts.
In this new bionic heart, a small bladed disk spins in the heart at 2,000 revolutions per minute in order to pump blood around the body without a pulse. This is a departure from traditional pulse-based designs that usually include balloon-like sacs to pump blood.
Dr Timms says in a video explaining the concept, “There were other devices that were quite large, and they also would break quite easily.
“And the reason they would break is they would have a sac, so if you’re beating them billions of times per year, they’re going to break.”
Dr Timms went on to explain that the device addressed the issue of wear and tear by using magnetic levitation technology to stop the components from touching. He said, “It means there’s no wear and that’s the key of the device in that it can actually last for up to 10 years or longer without wearing out…”And that’s a paradigm shift actually from these earlier pulse-style devices that couldn’t last for more than two years.”
The artificial heart development is one of the main focuses of The Common Good crowd-funding campaign that is dedicated to supporting new medical discoveries.
Dr Timms also said, ”We’ve now shown that the device works. This idea is viable. Now it’s a matter of making it robust and reliable so that it works in a patient…The time frame is three to five years before it could be ready for humans. We need to test it for a year to confirm its safety and regulatory properties before we implant it in a patient. Proving the concept was the first real hurdle. There are many to go from here but we’re confident we have the collaborative team to take it to that next level.”
If the BiVACOR device proves to be successful, it could give people a real alternative to organ donation. This is a big issue in Australia as there are hundreds of thousands of Australians diagnosed with heart disease every year. In fact back in 2012, 14% of all deaths / 20,046 Australians, lost their lives to heart disease.
[image via http://bivacor.com/]
SOURCE: Masr Gate