ISRO scientists build artificial heart pump

20 Apr 2016 | By Achin Garg

Rocket scientists at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), have built a cardiovascular pump which can pump human blood and replicate the functions of a human heart.

The device assists the left ventricle which pumps blood from the heart to different body parts.

The device which is currently undergoing tests is a small step towards creating an artificial human heart.

In context: ISRO's cardiovascular innovation

About ISRO: A profile

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is a premier Indian space agency which was formed in 1969.

Headquartered in Bengaluru, ISRO envisions to "harness space technology for national development, while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration".

Over the years, ISRO has achieved a distinct position in the space science arena with the launch of 51 satellites from 23 nations among other things.

What is the invention?

ISRO scientists have developed a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD), which is a mechanical pump that can be implanted in a person's chest to help a weak heart pump blood to different parts of the body.
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20 Apr 2016ISRO scientists build artificial heart pump

Features About the device

ISRO's artificial heart pump is made up of a bio-compatible Titanium alloy and weighs around 100gm.

It can pump blood at the rate of 3-5 litres per minute (an average human adult has around 4.7-5.5 litres of blood in the body).

The device is expected to cost around Rs.1.25 lakh which is quite less compared to imported heart pumps which are much more expensive.

Test successful on pigs

The device was tested on 5 pigs recently in a 6-hours experiment at a Thiruvananthapuram hospital. The doctors claimed that all the organs of the animals were intact and the device kept the pigs alive.

Advantages How will the heart pump help?

A cardiac failure can drop the output of a heart from 5 litres per minute to around 2 litres per minute.

Such a low flow can irreversibly damage the kidneys, liver, brain, etc.

The LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device), without replacing a heart, supplements its functions, such as after an open heart surgery or when a person is waiting for a transplant.

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Space science: Helping humanity

"This is one of the examples of how work that is done for rocket technology or satellite technology can help human beings. It [device] provides a bypass pumping system that can definitely help human lives," -Dr. Kiran Kumar, ISRO chairman.