A bioprosthetic artificial heart has been implanted in a critically ill patient for only the third time ever in a commercial setting.

The Aeson® device – heralded as the world’s most advanced total artificial heart – offers a therapeutic alternative for people suffering from end-stage biventricular heart failure.

The implant was performed at the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, in University Medical Centre Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH), Kiel, Germany.

Designed and developed by Carmat, this implantable bioprosthesis is continuously connected to a portable external power supply system. It was developed in response to the well-documented shortfall in heart transplants for tens of thousands of people suffering from irreversible end-stage heart failure.

It is also classed as the first physiologic heart replacement therapy, given the use of highly biocompatible materials, its unique self-regulation system and its pulsatile nature. It is hoped that the Aeson® heart could save thousands of lives without risk of rejection and with a good quality of life.

The device is the result of a collaboration between Professor Carpentier, the renowned inventor of Carpentier-Edwards® heart valves – the most used in the world – and aerospace giant Airbus Group.

It is currently commercially available in the bridge-to-transplant indication in Europe and other countries that recognise the CE mark. Aeson® is also currently being evaluated in an Early Feasibility Study in the United-States.

UKSH in Kiel, where the surgery was carried out, is one of Germany’s leading heart centres with a long history of thoracic transplantation. Prof. Assad Haneya, who performed the implant with his team, said: “We are pleased to have successfully implanted the CARMAT TAH in our centre.

“The patient who received the device suffered from severe end-stage biventricular heart failure and he was eligible for an urgent heart transplant. During the last weeks, we noticed a further deterioration with signs of a beginning multi-organ failure and the use of Aeson® was a natural choice.”

Dr. Bernd Panholzer, Director of Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, added: “A few days after the procedure, the device is providing all the necessary support and the patient is recovering well. Since the device has some key characteristics similar to a real heart, such as pulsatility, hemo-compatibility and self-regulation, we expect to meet the needs of many other patients placed on the waiting lists with this new type of therapy.”

Find out more at carmatsa.com.