Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Heart With No Beat

PostedSeptember 24, 2006

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Randy Atkins:  Today’s artificial hearts are generally bigger, wear out faster, and have more trouble adjusting to changing blood flow needs than their natural counterparts.  Bud Frazier, a prominent heart surgeon, is working on a simple alternative.

O.H. “Bud” Frazier:  A continuous flow pump pumps according to the inlet pressure, which is like the natural heart.  So the more blood that comes to it, the more blood it will pump.

Randy Atkins:  Frazier says with just one continuously spinning part, the pumps are more durable and can be made to size.

O.H. “Bud” Frazier:  They can be as small as your thumb.

Randy Atkins:  He says such hearts are working fine in cows.  Weird thing is, though…the animals have no pulse.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.

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