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