By Anthony Cuthbertson
March 10, 2015 13:26 GMT
Bionic heart developed by Australian scientists is a significant departure from previous designs(Prince Charles Hospital)
The world’s first bionic heart without a pulse has been successfully tested in a healthy sheep and is set for human trials within three years. The ground-breaking device, developed by scientists at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, replaces a pulse action with a spinning disc that pumps blood around the body.
This is a significant departure from previous bionic heart designs, which favour cumbersome balloon-like sacks to mimic the action of a biological heart.
“There were other devices that were quite large, and they also would break quite easily,” said Daniel Timms, the lead designer of the device.
“And the reason they would break is they would have a sack, so if you’re beating them billions of times per year, they’re going to break.”
The device designed by Timms, known as a BiVACOR, is predicted to last 10 years longer than previous designs as it uses magnetic levitation to prevent wear and tear on components.