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Researchers at the North Carolina State University has developed a machine that can keep a heart beating outside the body. The potential medical benefit is huge...
"Researchers can obtain pig hearts from a pork processing facility and use the system to test their prototypes or practice new surgical procedures," says Andrew Richards, a Ph. D. student in mechanical engineering at NC State who designed the heart machine.
The computer-controlled machine, which operates using pressurized saline solution, also allows researchers to film the interior workings of the pumping heart - enabling them to ascertain exactly which surgical technologies and techniques perform best for repairing heart valves.
Ten years ago, Jeff Kepner lost both his hands and feet to a bacterial infection. Today, he is recovering from the first US double hand transplant surgery. Soon, he’ll be able to hold his daughter’s hand for the first time in a decade.
Kepner, a 57-year-old pastry chef living in Georgia, got his new hands after a nine-hour surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is still recovering, but has strong circulation in both hands and has showed no signs of organ rejection. The success of his surgery is in part due to a unique new procedure to improve an organ’s chance of being accepted by the body.
Bruyukhonenko's mad experiments on dogs led to the development of open-heart procedures. He developed a crude machine called the autojektor (a heart and lung machine). By using this primitive machine, Bryukhonenko kept the heads of severed dogs alive. In 1928, he displayed one of the heads in front of an audience. To prove it was real, he banged a hammer on the table. The head flinched. When a light was shone in its eyes, the eyes blinked. And when it was fed a piece of cheese, the remnants promptly popped out of the esophageal tube, much to the displeasure of disgusted viewers.
On 1954, soviet surgeon Vladimir Demikhov, revealed his masterpiece to the world: a two-headed dog. The head of a puppy had been grafted onto the neck of an adult German shepherd. The second head would lap at milk, even though it did not need nourishment — and though the milk then dribbled down the neck from its disconnected oesophagus. Although both animals soon died because of tissue rejection, that did not stop Demikhov from creating 19 more over the next 15 years. See a video of the surgery.