This is a post by Geoff Hedges on PTC site.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost 20 million people suffer from heart failure worldwide, with 2 million new cases added each year. Many of these patients could benefit from a new heart, but the sad truth is that there simply aren’t enough donors.
So they wait.
Researchers at the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering in the medical school at the University of Tokyo want to change that. In Japan, heart patients wait an average of 981 days for a transplant–that’s more than two and a half years. If the Tokyo group could produce a man-made device that performed just as well as the human organ, they could replace diseased hearts and return patients to good health, or, at the very least keep their circulatory systems running long enough for a donor to be found.