Machine Keeps Heart Beating Outside of Body

Researchers at the North Carolina State University has developed a machine that can keep a heart beating outside the body. The potential medical benefit is huge, though for whatever reason I kept on thinking about Dr. Frankenstein:

"Researchers can obtain pig hearts from a pork processing facility and use the system to test their prototypes or practice new surgical procedures," says Andrew Richards, a Ph. D. student in mechanical engineering at NC State who designed the heart machine.

The computer-controlled machine, which operates using pressurized saline solution, also allows researchers to film the interior workings of the pumping heart - enabling them to ascertain exactly which surgical technologies and techniques perform best for repairing heart valves.

Link - via jwz

Oh, there's a video all right:


[YouTube Clip]


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That is correct that the heart is not beating. This is especially important with respect to valve function most significantly the left ventricle. Contraction of the ventricle improves valve function for mitral valve repair
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