Italian surgeons called the feat a “milestone,” and hope that it represents a significant stepping-stone in the eventual goal of developing a permanent implant for heart transplant patients.
The first-ever artificial heart to be implanted in a human being was the Jarvik 7, in 1982 in patient Barney Clark, who lived 112 days after his surgery. The prototype for the Jarvik 7 was conceived as early as 1949 at the Yale School of Medicine, utilizing an Erector Set, and successfully kept a dog’s heart beating for 90 minutes. Other animals to receive various improvements to this model included a calf and a bull, until the National Institutes of Health started an Artificial Heart Program in 1964, with the goal of human transplantation. Although Robert Jarvik, then of the University of Utah, was the project manager for the prototyping and design of the Jarvik 7, its engineering, development and refinement needed the efforts of over 200 physicians, engineers, students and faculty."
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