Artificial Organs – Life-Saving Bio-hybrid Devices

The evolution and current scenario of artificial organs

Artificial organs – A dynamic progression in organ transplant arena

Until a few years, organ failure was considered a life-threatening as well as a fatal condition. With advancements, organ transplant evolved, saving the life of thousands of people. Still, organ transplant doesn’t appear quite sufficient to feed the lives of the people due to shortage of organs available for replacement. The savior has been found to help people enhance the life span in form of artificial organs. The artificial organs are implanted during partial organ failure or total organ failure, where the damages to the organs are irrevocable. In addition, the necessity of implanting an artificial device arises due to lack of important functions that cannot be executed by a natural organ. Simply, the artificial organs are used to execute the functions of natural organs when the latter fails to keep the bodily functions intact.

The artificial organs are placed after removal of the natural organ to restore the functions of the damaged organ and the group of functions associated with the natural one. Besides, the patient can lead a normal life as soon as possible without having a life support device. Although the artificial organs extend support, they aren’t support equipments. For instance, in case of renal transplant, dialysis is the life saving procedure to be performed periodically, until a kidney transplant is performed. So, dialysis is not an artificial organ although it performs the functions of a kidney!

Synthetic implants are not new in the medical sector. Face implants, breast implants, etc are popular in the western countries and among the celebrities. The implants of artificial organ are relatively new, an outcome of years of medical research, technology and pioneering approach.

Artificial organs or artificial implants are synthetic / man-made organs used to replace the biological organs that are damaged.

Let us have a glance widely used artificial organs available and used today!

  • Artificial heart
  • Artificial lungs
  • Urinary Bladder
  • Pancreas
  • Artificial ovaries
  • Artificial / Digital Skin
  • Cardiac valves
  • Cochlear implant – an electronic ear device that enables hearing sound in deaf people
  • Visual prosthetic – replacing the vision
  • Artificial limbs – The most functional and highly beneficial artificial organ

We have a long way to go in harnessing the power of artificial organs.

Artificial organ in the current scenario and the future:

Artificial organ is a boon in the healthcare industry and for millions of sufferers with organ failure. Due to shortage of organ donors and dramatic increase in number of patients who needs organ donors, many people unfortunately die!  The risk of dying due to non-availability of an organ donor is completely eliminated with the inception of organ donation. Simply, it eliminates the scarcity of transplantable organs.

Artificial Heart:

Currently, the artificial heart is used to help the patients with congestive heart failure, who wait for a heart donor. Implanting artificial heart replacing the original heart is still considered a temporary procedure as the synthetic organ may cause blood clot and stroke in few patients.

The researchers are working on to develop a miniature heart, a mini artificial heart controlled by processors and sensors that determine the heart beat. The sensory devices would also detect and report about any malfunctions.

Similar procedure and functions are executed and stabilized in case of implanting artificial lungs.

Cochlear Implant

An ear implant, termed as Cochlear implant refers to an electronic device that enables an individual to perceive the sounds, who suffer from impaired hearing. People who are born deaf as well as those who experience troubles in hearing make the most of this artificial device.

Any damages to the sensory hair cells in the cochleas cause impairment of hearing capacity. People with this condition can gain the most from the implants with sufficient hearing.

Cochlear implants indirectly help the hearing impaired people by improving their speech and vocal. Although the quality of sound widely differs from a natural hearing, many people are tremendously benefitted. Cochlear implants are popular among the artificial organs. More than 5 lakh people were benefitted by cochlear implants.

Artificial Arms and Limbs

Gone are the days where amputees suffer with inability to explore the world. With artificial limbs and arms, the physically handicapped individuals don’t have any restriction to explore the world.

Enhances the lifespan and quality of life

Currently, the bio-artificial organs help patients lead a normal life with implant of artificial organs, for years. The ultimate goal of this procedure is to increase the lifespan until a real organ is received by the patient. Yet, in near future, a patient may life with regained health for years with artificial organs.

Benefits of Artificial Organ Implants

Reduction in the rate of rejection of transplanted organs

While the complicated transplant surgeries are performed efficiently and successively, almost every patient is exposed with the risk of rejection of transplanted organ. Using the artificial organs make no room for rejection.

Eliminate the risk of developing diseases / disorders

As stated earlier, to reduce the risk of organ rejection, immune suppressants are prescribed to the patients. These medications may affect the health of the patient in a long run causing moderate to severe side-effects. In addition, it may cause a condition that the patient should live completely dependent on drugs throughout the life. No rejection means, no need to rely on immune suppressants and no risk of developing any diseases / disorders.

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