Artificial organ development in laboratory conditions is one of the most fascinating branches in medical science. Artificial organs are man-made organ in vitro conditions and are implanted in human body to replace the natural ones. Research is going on in this field to produce artificial body parts, and one fine day in near future we would be able to create a real human being using these artificial organs.
UK scientists reportedly successfully built an artificial stomach, capable of simulating digestion. This artificial stomach mimics both physical and also chemical reactions that occur during digestion.
This artificial stomach is made up of special plastics and also some metals. This artificial stomach has got the capacity to survive the corrosive nature of the gut acids and enzymes. It can also be fed on real foods. Scientists are doing research to understand the mechanism of how nutrients are broken down in this gut. This artificial stomach is so realistic that it can even vomit.
The applications of this artificial womb include
1. Aiding women with many miscarriages due to problems with embryo implantation.
2. Artificial womb can be useful in women who had hysterectomy due to uterine cancer.
3. Artificial womb can be used in women who are not able to carry their own biological child.
4. Artificial womb can also be used in treating the childless couples.
Fully functional artificial womb production will take some more years.
Dr.Paul Winchell first patented an artificial heart during mid 1960s. Many researchers were done with the artificial heart, until the Syncardia CardioWest's temporary Total Artificial Heart was the first artificial heart that received permission from U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use in humans. The temporary Total Artificial Heart can be used to treat or implant in patients with end stage biventricular failure. This increases the life expectancy of patients and also gives some more time to look out for compatible heart for transplantation. During 2007 first temporary total artificial heart is being received by a patient who is suffering from biventricular end-stage heart failure along with irreversible cardiogenic shock. The temporary Total Artificial Heart is a modern version of the Jarvik-7 Artificial Heart that was implanted in patient during 1982.
The latest fully implantable artificial heart developed by Abiomed Inc, has received clearance from Food and Drug Administration is two-pound AbioCor comprises an internal rechargeable battery with an thoracic unit, an internal miniature electronics package and also contains an external battery pack. This has got the capacity to move the blood through the lungs and to the rest of the body continuously. This is a miracle device as it brings new hope to patients who are near death due to heart failure. But the major drawback of AbioCor is its large size and lifespan is very short.
Scientists are doing research to develop fully functional and reliable implantable artificial heart.
Artificial blood is said to perform some of the functions of biological blood in humans. All across the globe demand for the blood is increasing due to various reasons. Basically artificial blood can be divided into two groups such as volume expanders and oxygen therapeutics. Volume expanders increase the blood volume. Whereas oxygen therapeutics replace for the blood's main function that is they carry oxygen.
The oxygen therapeutics under development or under clinical trial includes Oxygen, Hemopure, Oxyglobin, Hemolink, Polyheme, Hemospan and Dextran-Hemoglobin. However, now scientists are also exploring the possibility of using stem cells as a means to produce another source of artificial blood. But cost associated with this technology is very high compared to other techniques. Researchers are also exploring the possibility of highly fluorinated water-soluble nano-polymers as oxygen carriers.
Synthetic compound known as Oxycyte also showed the ability to carry oxygen 50 times more efficiently than the biological blood. This Oxycyte is under clinical trial stage.
As there is huge shortage in blood supply and requirement, in next few years artificial blood may be used widely throughout the world.
By using many techniques of biotechnology, nanotechnology along with medical science we can produce artificial organs, which can be used to treat human ailments and in future can be used to produce artificial human being.
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