Heart transfers are a sloppy thing, with the shortage of heart donors lots of things must be accounted for. The patient must be kept alive while the damaged heart is removed while they wait for the new – and hopefully healthy – heart arrives. So you either improve the transportation time or preservation method, here we have improve the preservation method, by keeping the heart beating during the transfer.
Hearts are not very common, so they are often flown from location to location and sometimes cover vast distances. Covering these spaces takes time and conventional methods involve cooling the
What is this new and super cool idea you may be asking now? Instead of cooling the heart, you keep it pumping, in a box while you move it. This is no ruse either, a company situated in Andover, Massachusetts has done just this. TransMedics is a medical device company founded in 1998 to supply innovative products to the public, and here they present the OCS (organ care system) Heart Trial Proceed II. This is a device that will connect and house a human heart while it is moved about the globe.
Perhaps coolest of them all is the ‘future-shock’ I received when I first read about this invention, it was surely a “the future is here” moment. Now that I know – thanks Tuesday’s visit – that when something like this is built, biomedical engineers will have a better hands on opportunity to work on designing the machine. Along with a great team of engineers & doctors, BME’s can play their part in creating this awe inspiring medical product.
"Corporate Information: TransMedics, Inc." Corporate Information: TransMedics, Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2012. <http://www.transmedics.com/wt/page/corporate>.
"10 Booming Jobs and How to Get Them." CNNMoney. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2012. <http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2010/pf/jobs/1010/gallery.best_jobs_job_growth.moneymag/index.html>.
Albin, Amy. "For News Media." 'Beating Heart' Technology Could Revolutionize Field of Heart Transplantation / UCLA Newsroom. N.p., 6 Dec. 2010. Web. 24 Oct. 2012. <http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/ucla-led-study-of-beating-heart-165987.aspx>.
"Enabling the Functional Assessment of Organs for the First Time outside of the Body." How It Works: TransMedics, Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2012. <http://www.transmedics.com/wt/page/how_works>.