Museum of Science and Industry

It turns out that the reassuring “lub-dub” of our heart might not be completely necessary for us to live. Recent developments in artificial heart technologies have sought to explore the use of continuous flow devices such as ones used in left-ventricle assist devices. Instead of pulses of pressure moving blood through our circulatory system, these devices use an ancient method of moving liquids known as an Archimedes’ screw to move blood around without a detectable pulse.

This particular method has major benefits over traditional heart replacements that attempt to emulate the natural motion of the heart, because they do not contain complex moving parts that wear out quickly. However, the long term effect of not having a pulse is still being explored and it will likely be a decade before this technology matures enough to be given the stamp of approval by the FDA.


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