Dr. Bud Frazier has been working on making an artificial heart since the 1960s.
Frazier successfully implanted his first "partial artificial heart" (more commonly known as a left ventricle assist device - LVAD) in 1986. The device is attached to the left ventricle and requires the patient to wear a backpack-like contraption that houses a motor that keeps blood flowing by pumping once per second.
In 2011, Frazier and his colleague Dr. Billy Cohn implanted the first of a new kind of artificial heart: one without a pulse.
This model doesn't pump blood through the body like a natural heart, but rather provides a continuous flow of blood like a hose. They officially implanted this new kind of heart in a dying man, who emerged from the surgery alive, but with no heartbeat, successfully proving that human physiology can be supported without a pulse.
Dr. Frazier and Dr. Cohn join The Daily Circuit Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 to talk about why going "pulse-less" might be the way of the future.