A French company is conducting a trial for an artificial heart that is meant to help keep patients alive while on the donor list.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Charlotte Astrid

Photo Credit: Flickr/Charlotte Astrid

Researchers have spent the last 45 years trying to develop an artificial heart that actually works. In 1969, the very first artificial heart was transplanted in a patient, who died three days later. French biotechnology company has developed a new artificial heart and has announced that two of four participating patients in a trial have received a new heart, that is made of a mix of synthetic and biological materials. 

The Atlantic notes that the heart valves and membranes are made of tissue taken from a cow's heart. The idea behind the artificial heart is to extend a life by five years for patients who are waiting for a donor heart or aren't eligible for a heart transplant. 

The first of the trial patients, a 76-year-old man, received an artificial heart in December and lived for 75 days, which Carmat considers a success. The patient was suffering from terminal heart failure at the time of the transplant and was given just a few weeks to live. 

The three remaining patients involved in the trial are also suffering from terminal heart failure. If each of them survives on the artificial heart for a month, Carmat will attempt to fit the device in 20 other patients with less severe heart failure. 

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