Team builds wireless heart pump


A research team at Tohoku University has developed a wireless mechanical heart pump, moving a step nearer to developing the world’s first fully embedded artificial heart.

The newly developed pump is roughly as big as a C-size battery and can pump more than 5 liters of blood per minute — similar to a human heart’s capacity — through a spinning cylindrical magnet, according to professor Kazushi Ishiyama, who headed the team.

Owing to the new pump’s small size and simple structure, an artificial heart using the pump will also be less costly, Ishiyama said.

The pump can be operated by holding a separate device over the skin to generate magnetic force. An artificial heart using the pump was successfully tested on animals, the researchers said.

Conventional mechanical pumps are too large to be embedded in the human body and need to be connected to an electrical cord routed through a patient’s skin.

The team will continue testing the system on animals before conducting a clinical trial with humans.