Scientists at the Texas Heart Institute are working to create a permanent artificial heart.
The device from BiVACOR, a Houston, TX-based company, propels blood through the body instead of pumping it.
The BiVACOR team's working prototype has been placed into large animals. The animals walk on a treadmill and live for a month before the researchers examine the heart's effect on their liver, brain, and other organs.
The heart, about half the size of a soda can, has a spinning disk with fins suspended by two magnetic fields. The device spins 2,000 to 3,000 times a minute, and the disk micro-adjusts 20,000 times a second to keep the component spinning flat.
Dr. William Cohn, chief medical officer of BiVACOR, says the technology is the "first legitimate shot on goal for a permanent mechanical replacement for the failing human heart."