This Device can keep a disembodied heart alive

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
January 8, 2017Style
This Device can keep a disembodied heart alive

Surgeons are beginning to see the benefits of a warm heart in the operating room as well as in their personal lives.

A new system has successfully salvaged at least 15 lifesaving hearts by mimicking the conditions in the body rather than attempting to freeze time, in the manner of old organ transportation.

Developed by a Massachussetts-based company called TransMedics, the $250,000 device is already in use in the United Kingdom and Australia, but is still pending approval for use in the United States. The system works by keeping the heart warm, beating, and fed with blood rich in the nutrients and oxygen it needs to stay healthy.

“Cold is the old thing, and warm is the new thing,” said Korkut Uygun, a transplant surgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital, to MIT Technology Review. “Warm is the way to go with metabolically active tissue.”