There are 3,500 people who undergo heart transplantation every year and each of these individuals gets the new heart from a recently deceased donor. Transplantation means a new life, but what if a patient does not find a donor? In such a circumstance, the doctors rely on the pneumatic device and you all know how effective it is. We could soon have a better option, thanks to a group from IITK, India, which has developed an artificial heart that is more efficient and reliable than any of the options we have at present. Dubbed the Biventricular Pump and invented by Sujoy K. Guha and team, this iteration takes inspiration from a cockroach’s heart, which has many chambers.
The Biventricular Pump (as the name suggests) consists of two selfsame artificial ventricular pumps with a series of interconnected diaphragm chambers. The expansion and contraction of these chambers happens through a battery-powered motor. The idea is to mimic the advantage a cockroach has with many chambers (13 in all) where the failure of a single chamber does not pose a death threat. Also the pumping of blood happens in stages keeping the build-up pressure in check.
A recent test of the device on a frog has been successful and now the group is seeking permission for a goat. Simultaneously, a patent application has also been filled. Guha is confident that this technology is ready for clinical trails and says that we might have an option for a heart transplant in the 21st century.