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50 Years Ago

In 1965, hopes were high for artificial hearts

Excerpt from the October 2, 1965, issue of Science News Letter

12:00pm, September 17, 2015
heart diagrams

TAKE HEART  An artificial heart (left) can replace the blood-pumping chambers of a human heart. 

Artificial heart readied — An artificial heart could be pumping inside a human chest within five years…. [A device] implanted in the heart cavity of a calf, keeping the animal alive nearly 24 hours, consisted of a lucite shell housing both left and right ventricles…. The complete heart apparatus should closely resemble a real heart in weight, size and shape.  — Science News Letter, October 2, 1965


The first artificial heart wasn’t implanted until 1982 (SN: 12/11/82, p. 372). The plastic-and-aluminum device, known as the Jarvik-7, was attached to a 400-pound air compressor and kept a heart

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