The Artificial Heart
Did you ever thought about the Heart diseases that continues to take a heavy toll of human life’s; patients who dies every year just due to the shortage of donors , still on the waiting list hoping for a phone call every day ,or those who dies because the donating operation failed , is there really no hope for them ? Is this there dead way?
For the scientists, there is no such a thing called a dead way, so they founded another solution called the ARTIFICIAL HEART, which is a prosthetic device that is implanted into the body to replace the original biological heart. They are typically used to bridge the time to heart transplantation, or to permanently replace the heart in case heart transplantation is impossible.
The prospects for the total artificial heart are much better than they seemed to be a decade ago. At that time no animal with an implanted artificial heart had survived for more than three days. Today the record stands at 221 days, or more than seven months. So the concept of replacing the function of the heart with a mechanical device is far from new. Initially the mechanical heart was envisioned as a substitute for only a part of the circulation: the supplying of blood to certain organs and tissues, and it embodies complex subtleties that defy straightforward emulation using synthetic materials and power supplies.
From the successful artificial hearts there is the total artificial heart: When the first experiments were undertaken, certain functional criteria for the artificial heart were already apparent. The device had to be small enough to fit in the space made available by the removal of the natural heart. It had to provide enough output to support the entire body and it had to vary the output according to the body’s needs. It had to be readily sterilized and it had to be very durable.
Then we have the soft artificial heart which looks like a real heart. And this is the goal of the first entirely soft artificial heart: to mimic its natural model as closely as possible and made of silicon using a 3D-printing, lost-wax casting technique; it weighs 390 grams and has a volume of 679 cm3.
Then we find Carmat’s artificial heart that offers a potential cure for heart failure, which is a condition characterized by the heart no longer being able to carry out its function pumping blood to all of the cells in the body. The artificial heart is powered by a portable power supply that tells the patient when to return home to recharge it. The biotech believes that its device will be compatible with the blood and body, and reliably pump blood in respons to the patient’s physiological needs.
So far, the success of surgical procedures has been 100%, which Carmat suggests highlights the strong expertise of the surgical teams in the participating centers. In order to maintain the sustained implantation rate, Carmat aims to expand the network of investigating centers to new countries and plans to finalise the PIVOTAL study implantations by the end of 2018.
In conclusion, as the artificial heart is been perfected, it must be made available in sufficient quantity to serve a large number of people. The criteria for selecting recipients must be defined clearly and objectively to ensure a short period of hospitalization and a rapid recovery for a high percentage of the recipients. Patients will need sociological and psychological counseling to help them adapt to a situation new in human experience.
Nowhere else will the dependence of life on technology and machines be more apparent. And once again the technology was able to create a solution to one of the century’s biggest problems, it’s obvious that it still need a lot of improvement and study to match the qualities of the real heart, but for now, at least for one person, it is a final hope to see the light of another day and have a few more moments with the beloved ones.
The Artificial Pancreas
We are dependent on our pancreas to release two hormones into the blood: one of them is insulin, which enables us to metabolize sugar. People with diabetes type one have a compromised ability to produce insulin .Their blood glucose levels are too high because their pancreas does not provide sufficient amounts of insulin. The artificial pancreas, also called Diabe-loop in Europe and closed-loop in the USA, is a real medical revolution. It’s a connected device that mimics pancreatic functions. So how does it work? Moreover, what makes this invention a revolution?
Artificial pancreas: how does it work?
The artificial pancreas is not an implantable organ. It is a device made up of three separate devices communicating by Bluetooth. They seek to reproduce the normal functioning of the beta cells of our pancreas. The device includes a continuous blood glucose sensor, an insulin pump and a smart phone containing the Diabe-loop or closed-loop application. This process is used on patients aged from 6 years and above. “We move from manual piloting to artificial piloting”
The continuous blood glucose-monitoring sensor inserted under the skin measures the blood glucose level, and sends this information to the Diabe-loop or closed-loop application in the smart phone. Using algorithms, it calculates the most appropriate dose of insulin to inject. To do this, the application takes into account different parameters, such as the weight of the person, the speed of insulin action, the glycemic context, the physical activities, etc.
Every 5 minutes, the CGM uses the sensor to check the blood sugar level. The amount of insulin, thus determined by the algorithms is then transmitted to the connected insulin pump (wearing on the body of the patient), that will inject it by a tissue under the skin. When the blood sugar is too high, the pump automatically delivers carefully measured doses of insulin into the body through a patch and a thin tube called a catheter. As the blood sugar returns to the target level, Insulin injection stops.
The application also allows the user to follow in real time his glycemic values on charts. The aim is to maintain, as far as possible, blood glucose levels in normal values during the day and at night, and thus to have hemoglobin values in therapeutic targets.
The life of a diabetic patient is very complicated. The artificial pancreas (Diabe-loop or closed-loop), due to its three connected components that allows the patient to manage their blood glucose in an automatic way. In addition, over time, the algorithms adapt to the physiology and lifestyle of the patient making it possible to manage the blood glucose more appropriately and safely. Finally, the “Remote monitoring” component integrated in Diabe-loop collects and analyzes data to generate alarms and to prevent a dedicated healthcare team.
The artificial pancreas has the potential to change lives .This technology has already been used in the USA since 2017, and has just been launched in France from December 2018.