NTU shows off world's tiniest heart pump

RESEARCHERS in Singapore have produced the world's smallest heart pump. 

The device does the work for an ailing heart, giving it a chance to rest and recover, or keeps a patient alive while he waits for a transplant. 

SMALL MARVEL:NTU's Professor Freddy Boey showing a prototype of the heart pump in Singapore recently.- AFPpic

The technology, patented by Nanyang Technological University, has been licensed to Orqis Medical, an American biomedical company specialising in heart pumps. 

Being smaller and lighter than the pumps now on the market, the Singaporean version is easier to implant and creates less risk of infection. 

The 50g pump, its motor and all its components can fit comfortably under the skin, pumping blood via tubes attached to blood vessels in the patient's shoulder and hip. 

Cardiologists here said current heart pumps can weigh over 1kg and have tubes extending out of the body to an external power source, making the patient vulnerable to fatal infections. 

Unlike NTU's new device, implanting these pumps also calls for open heart surgery. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network  

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