Artificial hearts aren’t new, but Carmat has created one with a rather unusual design. The Paris based company has incorporated cow tissue within their device which is regulated by sensors, software and microelectronics. This cow tissue is used to form a membrane within the artificial heart that comes into contact with human blood. Through using this tissue over artificial materials such as plastic, hopes are high that previous issues, such as clotting, will be decreased.
The tissue that forms the biological contact surface originates from the pericardial sac that surrounds the heart of the cow and notably, this is the first device of its kind to use biological tissue beyond a valve function.
Currently untested in humans it is far to early to know if the Carmat heart will be capable of extended use but it is definitely one to keep an eye open for!