The old dream of replacing a failing heart by an artificial heart could be realized in 1957 by Kolff’s group in the implantation of an artificial heart in orthotopic position in dogs surviving for a few hours. The first artificial heart consisted of a pair of sac-type ventricles (Fig. 1 a) driven pneumatically and manufactured from smooth Polyurethane. Later models used a one-piece TAH with a moving septum, small roller pumps, solenoids and small motors driven electrically. The main progress could be achieved with hemispherical ventricles (Fig. 1 b) driven pneumatically with a diaphragm-type membrane. A calf with a similarly designed TAH was able to survive in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA for 210 days recently. The main limiting factors are design factors, the biomaterials, the artificial valves, and finally the driving systems. To avoid thrombi formation within artificial ventricles an adequate wash-out of all inside surfaces during the cardiac cycles is necessary (Fig. 2). The TAH should have a cardiac output of up to 15 liters/min, sufficient to allow the experimental animal to move on a treadmill.
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