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  • Category: Cardiology

    Can a machine replace the heart?

    Wondering if the human heart can ever be replaced by a mechanical system? Get views and opinions from the responses at this Ask Expert page.

    My friend is doing B.Tech Biotechnology at Sathyabama University Chennai. She is currently doing a research on oncology. She needs a small confirmation from the medical experts - whether heart can be replaced by a machine system?
  • Answers

    7 Answers found.
  • Hi,

    I have seen a Hollywood movie in which any part of the body could be replaced by machines. I didn't remember the name. May be some scientist is trying to do so or maybe they got success in this, but such researches are top secrets.

    In the near future, it's very hard to say that a machine can replace the heart as the technology is still not as good as it needs to be to replace a human heart with a machine.

    Sabrez Alam

    Sabrez Alam
    "Knowledge will give you power, but character respect."

  • Yes and No for your question, please go through this to know more detail.

    A machine can replace few parts of the heart only and not whole heart to function, even if possible to replace whole heart by using machine then it will not function as natural one and human or animal for which they fixed artificial whole heart can't "live" from it. Even if they research for many centuries still "whole heart" can be replaced but can't make it to function like a natural one. This is against nature as well.

    Partial replacement (like valve) of the heart can work, for example, like a by pass surgery and its tube / valve requirement which can replace and function whole heart with its association.

  • Sorry, there is no machine on earth that can replace heart and no one can never make such a machine that can function like an original heart. If this is so then no one will die on earth. Human beings or any animal just die when their heart stops functioning. Though, however hard one can try, the artificial one will not work as natural. For your information, there are some electronic devices that can normalize the heart beat such as pace maker, but no device can replace the original heart.

  • As per my knowledge, there are cases of replacement of original biological heart by artificial heart which were reported to be succeeded in some places of the world. The first artificial heart transplant was performed in France in a seventy five year old man. It was powered by a Lithium-ion battery which was worn externally. It weighed almost three times that of ordinary heart. The device mimics heart muscle contractions and it contains the sensors which senses the person's motions and works accordingly.

  • Machines are controlled by human beings and if at all somebody invents a machine which can replace human heart then it must be a computerized machine having battery back up and alarm system to recharge the battery well in time so as to prevent abrupt stoppage of the mechanical heart valves. So far only Heart Pacemakers are implanted in the body to pace up the failing or sinking heart. Such Pacemakers are programmed from outside computers. There are other machines also like hearing aids which can be programmed from computers accessible to doctors. In the future it can not be ruled out that there can not be mechanical hearts but it is a million dollar question as to who will control such mechanical hearts from outside and hackers or bad guys may develop programs to detect and jam the mechanical hearts raising another breach of security. I can just imagine that such mechanical hearts will have expiry dates also and if Insurance Companies will insure the life of the individuals with such mechanical hearts. New laws will have to be made to allow to execute will to die by switching off the machine. If the individual with artificial machine has no means to maintain the machine it will become an issue with the state and national governments to provide aid to such persons. The whole matter appears a fiction and let it not materialise as it will a step towards conquering death challenging the very existence of GOD.

    Ashok Goyal

  • Yes.! it has been done very before, the first artificial heart implantation was done by Dr.Robert Jarvik & the name of that artificial heart was JARVIK 7 and it was a successful implantation.
    Other prototypes of artificial man made mechanical hearts are Phoenix-7, AbioCor-I, AbioCor-II, Berlin Heart, MagScrew, SynCardia,Carpentier / CARMAT. There are so many mechanical heart present in market those works like natural heart, do pump blood and maintain constant blood pressure.

  • The artificial heart is replaced for the damaged heart for the patients who have certain heart problems. With the help of this artificial heart the life of the patient can be prolonged until the heart transplantation is taken place.

    The artificial heart is replaced when there is no other option remained for the patients. The main advantage of this artificial heart replacement is that it is readily available if required. It can restore the stability, improves blood pressure and helps vital organs recover.

    The patients who are ready for heart transplantation can prolong time with the help of artificial heart. But some risk factors are present in artificial heart. The risk of failure of electric motor, infection is always present.

    The device can lead to blood clotting, stroke or bleeding too. The major disadvantage of artificial heart is every patient does not have the body structure for the machine to be fitted in the hollow space in the chest.


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