Jarvik-7 Total Artificial Heart (USA), 1985
This is a Jarvik-7 Total Artificial Heart.
In 1985, this Jarvik-7 Total Artificial Heart replaced the diseased organ of Michael Drummond, who lived with it for nine days before undergoing a heart transplant. Researchers labored for over 25 years to develop an artificial heart, but finding suitable blood-interface materials to prevent clotting and a way to safely propel blood through the device presented challenges. Invented by Robert Jarvik, MD, the device consists of two ventricles made of a soft silicone-rubber plastic with two titanium and pyrolytic carbon tilting-disc valves. Each is held in place by Velcro®, permitting fine-tuning of the heart’s placement or ventricle removal. The interior diaphragm consists of four layers of Biomer, a polyurethane, providing the pump with greater strength and durability, a key design feature. A pneumatically operated driver regulates blood flow and the number of heartbeats per minute. Today, more than 1,200 Jarvik-7 artificial hearts have been implanted as an initial stage of the transplant process.
It is credited
Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, 1987.0474.01.
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Its dimensions are
H x W x D: 24.8 x 14 x 14.3 cm (9 3/4 x 5 1/2 x 5 5/8 in.)
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.