The AbioCor™ Implantable Replacement Heart is a fully implantable prosthetic system intended as a substitute for severely diseased human hearts in patients suffering from coronary heart disease or some form of end-stage congestive heart failure. When these patients are at imminent risk of death, the AbioCor is designed to both extend life and provide a reasonable quality of life. After implantation, the device does not require any tubes or wires to pass through the skin. Power to drive the prosthetic heart is transmitted across the intact skin, avoiding skin penetration that may provide opportunities for infection.
Just like the natural heart, the AbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart consists of two blood-pumping chambers. The right pump supplies blood to the lungs, while the left pump provides blood to other vital organs and the rest of the body. Each of the two pumps is capable of delivering more than two gallons (eight liters) of blood every minute. The replacement heart is compact (about the size of a grapefruit) and quiet. A stethoscope is required to listen to the "heart sounds." The pumps and valves are made from Angioflex™ a proprietary ABIOMED material.
An internal controller regulates power delivered to the prosthetic heart. Without penetrating the skin, an external unit transmits power to the internal unit. A rechargeable internal battery allows the patient to be completely free of the external power transmission unit for some period of time monitored by the internal system. The AbioCor system is designed to increase or decrease its pump rate in response to the body's needs. The AbioCor also includes an active monitoring system that provides detailed performance feedback and alarms in the event of irregularities.