A fully implantable artificial heart will be ready for human clinical trials by 2011, according to European researchers who said the heart will help alleviate the worldwide shortage of heart transplant donors.
"We are moving from pure research to clinical applications. After 15 years of work, we are handing over to industry to produce an artificial heart usable by man," heart transplant specialist and project team leader Alain Carpentier told Agence France Presse.
The prosthetic heart, which is shaped like a real heart and has the same blood flow rhythms, is made from chemically treated animal tissues designed to avoid blood clotting or rejection by the recipient's immune system. The heart is meant for use in seriously ill patients for whom drug therapy, ventricular assistance or heart transplant have failed or aren't available, AFP reports.
Digital simulation and animal testing of the artificial heart have revealed no complications, Carpentier said. – (HealthDayNews)