WELLINGTON, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand Auckland University scientists have made a breakthrough that could save the lives of thousands of heart patients worldwide and eventually offer an alternative to heart transplants.
Scientists from the university's Bioengineering Institute, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Department of Physiology have developed the technology to power a wireless heart pump, New Zealand Herald reported on Wednesday.
Heart pumps keep sufferers of congenital heart failure alive as they await a donor heart.
But current heart pump technology requires a wire cable to go through a patient's stomach and chest, which can cause serious infections or even death.
The new pump uses magnetic fields to transfer power through a person's skin and can pump on average seven liters of blood per minute and operate 24 hours a day.
The device could be implanted in around 50-thousand people each year within ten years.
New Zealand Heart Foundation medical director Dr Norman Sharpe said the technology could benefit the few dozen New Zealanders who undergo heart transplants each year, and would provide better quality of life to them.