About 30 Australian lives are saved every year by artificial hearts.

The artificial heart, or ventricular assist device (VAD), is implanted and in most cases keeps a failing heart functioning until transplant is possible. While it’s a fantastic invention, surgery to implant a VAD can take several hours, and is an extremely invasive procedure.

Doctors have to open the sternum, put the heart on bypass and suture the device to the ventricle of the heart. With every minute the heart is on bypass, the recovery time of the patient increases, and the operation becomes more and more dangerous.

So, what if there was a way to make the procedure quick and easy? What if we could avoid having to bypass the heart or suture the VAD?

Now, with thanks to New Investigator Lisa Obermaier, there is.

Lisa, working off the original brainchild of Dr Shaun Gregory, has developed a new device that will not only void the need for sutures to implant a VAD, but it will also mean the heart won’t need to be put on bypass. This self-sealing VAD implantation device will also reduce the time of surgery to about 1 hour.