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Published on May 31, 2012
http://ratemyscience.com/ Publish your projects or ideas at Rate My Science. An artificial organ is a man-made device that is implanted or integrated into a human to replace a natural organ, for the purpose of restoring a specific function or a group of related functions so the patient may return to as normal a life as possible. While considered a success, the use of artificial hearts is limited to patients awaiting transplants whose death is imminent. The current state of the art devices are unable to reliably sustain life beyond about 18 months. Artificial pacemakers are electronic devices which can either intermittently augment (defibrillator mode), continuously augment, or completely bypass the natural living cardiac pacemaker as needed, are so successful that they have become commonplace. Ventricular assist devices are mechanical circulatory devices that partially or completely replace the function of a failing heart, without the removal of the heart itself. HepaLife is developing a bioartificial liver device intended for the treatment of liver failure using stem cells. The artificial liver, currently under development, is designed to serve as a supportive device, either allowing the liver to regenerate upon acute liver failure, or to bridge the patient's liver functions until a transplant is available.