Polymers in Biomedical Devices: Materials for Artificial Heart and Circulatory Assist Devices

  • William S. Pierce
Part of the Polymer Science and Technology book series (POLS, volume 8)


Using currently available techniques, the cardiovascular surgeon is capable of correcting a wide variety of congenital heart defects, replacing damaged cardiac valves and blood vessels, and restoring blood flow to ischemic heart muscle. The next major frontier to be crossed concerns the replacement or substitution of damaged heart muscle, most commonly required in the patient who has sustained a major myocardial infarction. It is now recognized that if 30–40% of the left ventricular muscle is damaged, the cardiac chamber will be unable to generate power sufficient for patient survival in spite of the best forms of drug therapy currently available [1]. In some of these patients, there is reason to believe that temporary, i.e. weeks, mechanical cardiac assistance, possibly in the form of left atrial or left ventricle to aortic pumping, may be associated with improvement in existing left ventricular function, permitting the cardiac assist to be discontinued [2]. In patients with more severe forms of left ventricular failure, cardiac transplantation or heart replacement with a prosthetic device would appear to offer the only hope for patient survival.


Silicone Rubber Blood Pump Artificial Heart Biomedical Device Dacron Graft 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • William S. Pierce
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryThe Milton S. Hershey Medical Center of the Pennsylvania State UniversityHersheyUSA

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