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Out of Body Experience: Machine Keeps Disembodied Animal Hearts Beating

by Lambert Varias
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Researchers at North Carolina State University have invented a machine that can keep an animal heart functional even after it has been removed from its body. Freaky. Andrew Richards, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering, designed the “dynamic heart system”, which “pumps fluid through a pig heart so that it functions in a very realistic way.”

out-of-body-experience

The machine uses a pressurized saline solution to emulate blood flow. It can also be used to film the interior of the pumping heart, a welcome feature for researchers working on tools and technologies for repairing heart valves. The inventors hope that the dynamic heart system will lead to significant reduction in costs for experiments, since it allows scientists to refine their designs and ideas before moving on to expensive live tests. According to Richards, “It costs approximately $25 to run an experiment on the machine, whereas a similar experiment using a live animal costs approximately $2,500.”

[via Inventor Spot]

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