Researchers in Padua are working for a permanent artificial heart
Developing a permanent total artificial heart is the objective of the University Hospital-University of Padua, which is currently working on the same line of research carried out by the Oregon Health & Science University achieving results that, if funds are available, could favour them as compared to their US counterparts.
“Padua University Hospital is working on the same research line as the Oregon Health & Science University,” said Gino Gerosa, Director of the Cardiosurgery Unit of the University Hospital.
The next step will be to develop a miniaturized linear electric engine to move the device as well as continuing to design the other parts of the artificial heart.
“We are quite in an advanced stage since we have already patented the actuator, which is the device that helps create an artificial heart that is highly biocompatible, silent and small, so that it can be inserted into most patients, both males and women, regardless of their body and chest sizes,” continued Gerosa. “We need over 50 million euro to complete our project and start thinking about inserting a permanent total artificial heart in the first patient over the next five years”.
The only total artificial heart available, which was inserted by Gerosa’s team in a patient in 2007, was used as a temporary solution while waiting for a heart transplant, since it ensures patient survival, but not an adequate quality of life.
“Our project,” concluded Gerosa, “ensures excellent biocompatibility, thanks to research carried out at my lab in regenerative medicine”.