The French company, CARMAT, has developed a new form of artificial heart that aims to improve many of the drawbacks of traditional heart transplants. The artificial heart is created out of bio-materials which limits the chance of rejection, and works for up to five years with the use of an external, lithium-ion battery pack. This artificial heart is designed to sustain a patient until a viable donor heart can be found and alters the amount of blood flow to the recipient’s body dependent on need. The CARMAT heart’s major drawback is that it is roughly three times larger than the average human heart and can only fit about 85% of males and 65% of females.
A patient at the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris, France became the first recipient of the artificial heart on December 18, 2013. While CARMAT declares that it is too early to say whether or not the procedure is a success, as of press date the patient was talking, feeding himself, and was even walking around. Two more patients are set to receive the heart in this phase of the trials.