Artificial Organs

Artificial organs – better than the original?

Draft page – more information coming soon.

See also: regenerative medicine and prosthetics.

Latest News

FDA approves bionic pancreas for home-use study – Diabetes – 22-May-18
iLet device is a dual-hormone artificial pancreas.
FDA has approved used in the homes of people with type 1 diabetes.
Can deliver insulin, glucagon or a combination, but just insulin for trial.
Beta Bionics hopesiLet will launch in 2020.

Bionic sphincter controller close to human trial phase – Sun Sentinel – 9-Apr-2018
Precision Medical Devices have developed the Flow Control Device.
A Bluetooth-operated bionic sphincter controller.
Potential to help 40 million people with urinary incontinence.
Implanted valve designed to fit around the urethra.
Surgery to implant the device should last no longer than 35 minutes.
Already implanted in dogs – planning human trials next year.
Hoping for approval of the device for human patients by 2020.
Larger valve versions could help patients who have had colostomies.

Artificial eye mimics blinking – Science News – 20-Feb-2018
University of Pennsylvania used human cells to build a model of the surface of the eye.
Synthetic eye is equipped with a fake eyelid that mimics blinking.
Grew a ring of conjunctival cells around a circle of corneal cells on a contact lens.
Eyelid made of a thin hydrogel film spreads tear fluid over the cells.
Could help researchers study dry eye disease and test eye drop medications.

Flocks of nanorobots could form artificial muscles – Chemistry World – 7-Feb-2018
DNA nanobots can already perform complex tasks.
Biomolecular motors designed to form tightly packed swarms forming lines or circles.
The robots are modified microtubules around 25nm in diameter.
After an hour five million microtubules will have formed swarms.
Able to turn off and on with UV light.

Woman with artificial heart carries pump in backpack – Metro – 31-Dec-2017

Selwa Hussain is a second-ever person in Britain to be given an artificial heart.
She was too ill for a heart transplant and her husband Al agreed she be given an artificial organ.
Surgeons replaced her deseased heart with an artificial implant
A battery-powered pump and electric motor inside the 15lb bag pushes air through tubes to feed plastic chambers in Selwa’s chest.
This pushes blood around her body.

Engineers Hack Cell Biology to Create 3-D Shapes from Living Tissue – UCSF – 28-Dec-2017
Many of the complex folded shapes of mammalian body plans can be recreated with simple instructions.
Mesenchymal cells play a special role in folding some tissues during development.
Tug on the network of ropelike extracellular matrix (ECM) fibers.
Create forces within the tissue that can cause it to bend and fold into a variety of shape.
Should improve biologists’ ability to create tissue organoids.

Soft Gel Could Keep Artificial Organs Alive – Popular Mechanics – 13-Dec-2017
University of Fribourg report a new bio-inspired power source.
3D-printed gel layers use charged ions to produce energy.
Soft technology could be used in biological tissue as a continuous battery source.
Inspired by electric eel’s specialized organs.
Could eliminate the need for battery replacements in pacemakers and other implants.
The flexible material they utilized is the same one used in contact lenses.

DIY artificial pancreas gains JDRF support – Mobi Health News – 18-Oct-2017
JDRF has announced a new initiative to provide funds for o build artificial pancreas (AP) systems under open protocols.
Besides funding, JDRF is targeting three major areas in which to help open-protocol system developers serve a wider audience.
The first would be technological assistance. The second focus would be on streamlining US and international regulation of these implementations, while the third involves the issues of liability that come with adjusting implementing medical devices for purposes outside of their original use.

3D-printed synthetic soft muscle can lift 1000x its weight – Kurzweil AI – 20-Sep-2017
Artificial muscle is three times stronger than natural muscle.
The new actuator can be shaped and reshaped a thousand ways.
Usea a silicone rubber matrix with ethanol micro-bubbles.

3D-printed silicone heart beats like the real thing – Engadget – 14-Jul-2017
Single solid silicone structure using a 3D-printing, lost-wax casting technique.
Doesn’t have the usual disadvantages of metallic and plastic mechanisms.
Designed to imitate the human heart as closely as possible in form and function.
Unfortunately currently only lasts for 3,000 beats – about 45 minutes.

Artificial lungs in a backpack may free people with lung failure – New Scientist – 21-Mar-2017
Usual treatment is a large machine that pumps their blood through a gas exchanger to provide oxygen and remove carbon dioxide.
Artificial lungs have proven harder than making a mechanical heart.
Lungs contain a fabulously convoluted network of branching air sacs to allow gases to diffuse in and out of the blood.
One device is small and light enough to be carried in a backpack – but still needs a gas cylinder.
Another device under development runs off the air in a room using extremely thin channels formed by polymer membranes.

Artificial robotic heart muscles keep pigs alive after heart attacks – WIRED – 18-Jan-2017
Existing mechanical pumps come with significant health risks including infections and causing blood clotting.
Soft robotic sleeve fits around the heart can pump blood around the body, without ever touching it.
In test of six pigs which had all suffered from acute cardiac arrest, device restored normal blood flow and kept them alive.
Sleeve places pneumatic actuators around the heart to mimic the movement of the outer muscle layers and is customisable to patient-specific needs.

$160 million to develop artificial organs – Engadget – 13-Jun-16
Limited number of donors and organs have to be used within a matter of hours.
US government has announced $160 million in public-private investments for a new Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
Organization will develop techniques for repairing and replacing tissues that could lead to artificial organs.

Man lives 555 days without a heart – CNN – 10-Jun-2016
9 years ago 25-year-old Stan Larkin suddenly collapsed with undiagnosed arrhythmogenic dysplasia.
Eventually progressed to heart failure and cardiogenic shock.
His heart was removed and replaced with SynCardia artificial heart with chambers and four valves.
Backpack contains Freedom Driver that powered the artificial heart delivering pumps of compressed air.
Many patients waiting for a transplant have hearts that are so weak, the kidneys, liver and other critical organs fail.

New generation of artificial heart – Jerusalem Post – 20-Jan-2016
Heart Mate 3 gives recipient a pulse and blood pressure.
Also fewer complications such as blood clots.
Before transplant patient only had seven percent of normal function.
Rabin Medical Center implants 30 artificial hearts every year.

Development of an artificial kidney – Today’s Medical Developments – 11-Nov-2015
National Institutes of Health has awarded a four-year, $6 million grant to investigators at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) to develop an implantable artificial kidney.

Artificial Foam Heart Pumps Fluid – Medical Daily – 15-Oct-2015
Researchers at Cornell University have designed a new type of stretchable “foam” material.
Internal pores can be changed increase and decrease connectivity across the material – i.e. to pass fluid through it.
Could also be used to create prosthetic body parts.

UAE’s first artificial heart operation – The National – 25-Jun-2015
Battery-powered bionic heart fitted to left ventricular. Pump can last up to 10 years but may suffer complications such as anti-coagulation and infection.


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