Transplantation of the heart is a tricky and dangerous endeavor.
It involves taking out the failing heart and replacing it with a completely new donor heart.
Chemical engineers must carefully choose the right materials to ensure that they are optimal for the function of the artificial heart.
There are different types of systems used to control the contraction, expansion, and distribution of the artificial heart pump.
Essentially, the heart pumps blood from it’s top two chambers, the left and right atrium, into the bottom two chambers, the left and right ventricle, respectively. After each contraction of the heart, the muscle relaxes, allowing time for the heart to fill up with blood again.
The deoxygenated blood in the left ventricle travels through the lungs via the pulmonary artery to become re-oxygenated and then returns to the right atrium of the heart.In 1998, 7,700 people were on the list for a heart transplant, but only 30% of those people received treatment.That was when the only cure for heart failure was an organ transplant from a donor. Before we delve into the design and inner workings of an artificial heart, we need to know a bit about how the heart actually works.When the diaphragm in the ventricle expands, it provides enough pressure to eject blood.A vacuum supplied by a pneumatic power source pulls the diaphragm down, allowing blood to fill the ventricle.The artificial heart has a shape similar to a normal heart and is attached to the necessary arteries and veins to allow the circulation of blood throughout the body.(4) Choosing the proper materials is a crucial part in building an artificial heart.A special coating of titanium is used on blood contacting surfaces, allowing blood cells to adhere to the metal, creating a living surface that mimics a real heart.The diaphragm within the pump is made from polyurethane, an easily modifiable, chemical-resistant material, also chosen because blood can easily adhere to its surface.(2) An important factor to consider when developing models such as the Abio Cor artificial heart is fluid dynamics.The core mechanism of this artificial heart system is a hydraulic pump that actively moves the blood from side to side of the heart.