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alternative artificial heart placement

Squeeze blood vessels and move blood with them
  [vote for,

The human heart is in a great physical location for a natural organ. It's well protected and physically close to lungs and brain. For an artificial organ, not so much: Placement inside the human body causes an enormous amount of trouble from energy to organ rejection.

Now lab-grown blood vessels are available and they don't cause significant troubles. I don't know if they're sturdy enough for this, it's possible that plastic ones would be needed.

I propose extending veins and arteries from where the heart is supposed to be to just under a patient's back. A stiff, non-bio-active plate would be placed on the opposite side. Skin would be grown over this. It would look like this:

plate|blood vessels|skin|machine.

A machine would massage the blood vessels through the skin* with rollers to move blood around the body. It would be worn as a backpack tightly and securely strapped to the patient.

This would allow the whole physical apparatus to be outside the body for easy servicing, easy recharging, larger batteries, a way to directly move blood by hand in emergencies, and much less likely rejection.

*You'll have to grow thick skin there to prevent sores, pain, and other skin problems from the constant movement. maybe like feet have?

Voice, Aug 27 2011

External artificial heart http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14363731
heart in a box [nickthird, Aug 28 2011]


       It would be even more convenient if the artificial heart could be kept in a shoe-box in the cupboard under the stairs ...
8th of 7, Aug 27 2011

       For a moment I thought you might suggest that one may wear one's heart on one's sleeve.
lurch, Aug 28 2011

       There is at least one person who has had an artificial hart fitted along side there own, and had there own hart recover. This would be useful for that type of procedure.   

       What if the lab grown vessels could be attached to a stretchable vest around the rib cage such that breathing could do the pumping?
j paul, Aug 28 2011

       I'm not sure this exact implementation would work out really well, but I like the innovative concept of keeping the motor out of the body and transfering the energy through the skin using pressure. Also, having no pasitic or metal in contact with the bloodstream should reduce clotting problems.   

       Would there be a problem getting the pumping blood vessels next to the plate to re-expand after squeezing the blood out? If the vessels had some amount of "spring" in them that might do it, but I'm not sure how that could be accomplished.
scad mientist, Aug 29 2011

       Why is it necessary to have just a single artificial heart? With two or three of them you could have redundancy in case the batteries went dead on one unit.
phundug, Aug 29 2011

       Why is rejection a problem for an artificial organ? People don't reject their artificial knees.   

       /Why is it necessary to have just a single artificial heart? / now that is the kind of thinking we need. And not because of redundance. Because intelligent design is possible. We have the technology. Better than he was before. Faster. Stronger. Better.
bungston, Aug 29 2011


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