SNHS Spotlight: The Advancement of Artificial Organs

Artificial organs have been implemented and are used more as years go by. In 1982, the
first fully functioning artificial heart was successfully implanted in a human. This artificial heart
was called the Jarvik-7 and was invented by Willem Kolff. This breakthrough inspired Kolff to
look into other artificial organs to be implanted in humans as well. Kolff is often regarded as the
father of artificial organs since he invented the dialysis machine, the heart-lung machine, and
many other artificial organs.

Artificial organs can be defined as complex medical devices that comprise of active
medical or biochemical functions including lung, heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, or neurosensory
organs. Artificial organs have many benefits. They can give those with failing organs a sense of
what it feels like to feel normal. Many children who grow up with a failing organ may feel
abnormal and constantly afraid, but receiving an artificial organ can help alleviate this fear and
help them to feel normal. Artificial organs can also mitigate the problem of waiting for a
permanent artificial organ. If one has a failing heart that is extremely life threatening, an artificial temporary heart could help them greatly while they wait for their permanent heart.

A recent advancement in artificial organs would be the attempt to create artificial skin.
This would be very beneficial to burn victims. Another amazing example would be an artificial
womb for premature babies. In April of 2017, researchers from the Children’s Hospital of
Philadelphia made an announcement that the first artificial womb had been developed. These
wombs have tubes of amniotic fluid, nutrients, oxygen, and blood coming in and out. These
wombs could greatly benefit premature babies.

All in all, artificial organs can save the lives of many. Over the past few decades they
have greatly advanced. More intricate artificial organs continue to be developed each day.
Hopefully researchers are able to continue finding new ways to improve these organs so millions
of lives can be saved!

Kiara Bassora ’22


“Innovations in Artificial Organs.” The Alliance of Advanced BioMedical Engineering,
“Artificial Organ.” Artificial Organ – an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics,

Categories: SNHS