Duke University Hospital surgeons successfully transplanted a total artificial heart (TAH) developed by France's CARMAT into a 39-year-old patient who had suffered sudden heart failure.
The TAH both resembles and functions like the human heart. Actuator fluid carried in a bag outside the body is responsible for the heartbeat, and sensors and microprocessors on the heart trigger its micropumps based on patient need.
The TAH is connected to the aorta and the pulmonary artery through two outlets.
To keep the heart powered, the patient will need to carry a nearly nine-pound bag containing a controller and two chargeable battery packs.
The TAH has received primary approval for testing from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and was approved for use in Europe for patients expected to receive a heart transplant within 180 days.
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