Australian Engineer Invents Permanent Artificial Heart to Transform Treatment of World's Biggest Killer

Aussie engineer develops permanent artificial heart to save his father, a potential game-changer for heart disease treatment.

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Geeta Pillai
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Australian Engineer Invents Permanent Artificial Heart to Transform Treatment of World's Biggest Killer

Australian Engineer Invents Permanent Artificial Heart to Transform Treatment of World's Biggest Killer

Daniel Timms, a biomedical engineer from Queensland, Australia, has invented a permanent total artificial heart called BiVacor, inspired by his father's heart disease. Timms' father, Gary, suffered a heart attack at age 50, and Timms realized his father's heart was irreparably damaged. This motivated him to potentially build a new heart to save his father.

For over two decades, Timms has been developing the BiVacor artificial heart, with his father's help in the early years. The device, which carries the visible DNA of the kitchen bench experiments Timms and his father conducted, is now set to be implanted in a human. This could potentially transform the treatment of heart failure, the world's biggest killer affecting over 64 million people globally, including up to 500,000 Australians.

Why this matters:

Current treatments for heart failure, such as medication and heart transplants, have major drawbacks. Drug therapy can only manage symptoms and slow disease progression, while the supply of donor hearts for transplants is extremely limited. This makes the prospect of a viable permanent artificial heart an essential step forward in treating this widespread and deadly condition.

The BiVacor artificial heart is the product of over 20 years of dedicated research and development by Daniel Timms, working closely with his father in the early stages. The device reflects the grassroots innovation that emerged from their kitchen bench experiments. As BiVacor moves closer to human implantation, it holds the potential to transform the treatment landscape for the millions around the world impacted by heart failure, offering new hope in the battle against the world's leading killer.

Key Takeaways

  • Daniel Timms invented a permanent artificial heart, BiVacor, inspired by his father's heart disease.
  • BiVacor could transform treatment of heart failure, the world's biggest killer affecting 64M+ people.
  • Current treatments like drug therapy and transplants have significant limitations, making artificial hearts essential.
  • BiVacor is the product of 20+ years of research by Timms, working closely with his father.
  • As BiVacor nears human implantation, it offers new hope in the battle against the world's leading killer.