Transplants generally require a long waiting period, and depending on the organ required by the patient, many people die waiting for their name to be called. Decades of research has gone into the creation of artificial organs in the hopes of eliminating the need for transplants, but science has yet to create the perfect creation process for artificial organs.
Nearly 60 years ago, the total artificial heart (TAH) was created, and since its inception, the device has helped some of the sickest biventricular failure patients while they were waiting for a heart transplant. Recently, new models and clinical trials have begun to create a better TAH device, which could lead to a permanent solution. Research is currently being done not only on creating a device that is compatible long term with the human body, but trying to understand the long-term effects this artificial device could have.
Presently, the longest an individual has lived with a temporary TAH device was nearly four years. While technology is years away from clinical trials of an updated TAH device, which has been designed to hopefully last decades longer than four years, there is a lot of hope for the development of this technology. If successful, this device could save the lives of hundreds of individuals each year.