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Professor John Fraser, 2023 Vanguard Grant

Life supports are better with a beat

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Life supports are better with a beat

Professor John Fraser, The University of Queensland

2023 Vanguard Grant - Two Year

Years funded: 2024 - 2026

Cardiogenic shock (CS) is a life-threatening condition where the heart fails to provide enough blood to vital organs to keep them alive. It is mainly caused by heart attacks where CS remains a leading cause of death. In patients with severe CS, machines are used to restore blood flow, despite a lack of evidence that they actually improve survival. These currently used devices are pulseless, providing a non-physiologic blood flow to organs that have evolved to survive with a pulse. This lack of pulse has been linked to severe complications.

To improve patient outcomes, we propose a return to biology by adding a pulse to the mechanical heart. We believe that organs, which have adapted to a beating heart, will perform better with a mechanical heartbeat. However, before testing this unproven hypothesis on patients (as done with currently used devices for the last 20 years), we will assess the effect of the bionic pump with/without heartbeat in a blood loop of human blood, and then proceed with our validated, innovative preclinical model of CS.

Last updated12 March 2024