Skip to Main Content
Summary form only given. In October, 1985 the Jarvik-7 total artificial heart was first implanted in a patient at the University of Pittsburgh as a bridge-to-cardiac transplantation. Over the next several years an additional 20 patients received the Jarvik heart, again as a bridge-to-cardiac transplantation. In these early days, the surgeons and bioengineers who utilized this TAH technology were not fully aware of the many technical and clinical challenges associated with implantation of such devices in critically ill patients. This presentation will review some of the bioengineering challenges that we faced, and how the knowledge gained from these initial implants has helped to spawn exciting new cardiac assist technologies for today's heart failure patients who are refractory to maximum medical therapies. The many notable contributions of clinical bioengineers to the success of the use of TAH and other mechanical circulatory devices in Pittsburgh will also be presented.