1885 - “The first artificial Heart-lung apparatus for organ perfusion studies,” (Echo.gmu.edu, 2019) was built.  The device works only with thinned out blood.  It includes “heating and cooling chambers, manometers, and sampling outlets, which permits monitoring of temperature, pressure, and blood gases during perfusion.” (Echo.gmu.edu, 2019) (Doctors: M. Von Frey and M. Gruber, Location: Leipzig).


First Artificial Heart:

First Artificial Heart


1913 - The first idea of having an artificial kidney “made of collodion (a syrupy solution of proxylin, the flexible type is often used as a surgical dressing) and using hirudin anticoagulant (a naturally occurring peptide in the salivary glands of blood-sucking leeches that has a anticoagulant property, often used to prevent blood clots following surgery) .” (Echo.gmu.edu, 2019).  The idea coming from the hemodialysis (a process of purifying the blood of a person whose kidneys are not functioning properly) of rabbits, dogs and later in humans and having that same property in an artificial kidney (Doctors: J.J Abel, L.C. Rowntree and B.B. Turner, Location: John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore).


1927 - “The first ‘Sandwich’ artificial kidney using a biological membrane,” (Echo.gmu.edu, 2019) that allows for removing excess water, solutes and toxins from the blood. (Doctor: H. Nichelle, Location: Beijing).


1929 - Doctors were able to keep dog’s heads functioning (just the head, no other body parts attached).  They used donated lungs and a pump for blood circulation (Doctors: S. Brukhonenko and S. Tchetchuline, Location: Russia).


1943 - “A rotating drum artificial kidney and later the Kolff-Brigham dialyzer” (Echo.gmu.edu, 2019) was created and was used very often throughout the fifties (Doctor: W. Kolff, Location: Boston).


1945/1946 - “The first stationary drum artificial kidney and the first artificial ultrafiltration kidney capable“ (Echo.gmu.edu, 2019) was created. (Doctor: N. Alwall, Location: Sweden).


1953 - “The first successful clinical use of the heart-lung machine for cardiac surgery,” (Echo.gmu.edu, 2019) was done (Doctor: J. Gibbon, Jr., Location: Philadelphia).


1957 - A completely artificial heart was implanted in a dog, staying alive with it for 90 minutes (Doctors: W.J. Kolff, T. Akutsu and team, Location: Cleveland).


1960 - First successful prosthetic valve operation (Doctor: Albert Starr, Location: Portland).


1963 - “An experimental artificial liver utilizing extracorporeal metabolism with sliced or granulated canine liver.” (Echo.gmu.edu, 2019) (Doctors: Nosé Y., Mikami J., Kasai Y., Sasaki E., Agishi T. and Danjo Y.).


1966 - “The first successful clinically implanted ventricular assist device (pneumatically-driven paracorporeal diaphragm pump)” (Echo.gmu.edu, 2019) in a middle aged woman. (Doctor: M.E. DeBakey, Engineer: D. Liotta, Location: Houston).


1967 - First cardiac transplant in a human (Doctor: Christian Barnard, location: South Africa).


1969 - First clinically implanted completely artificial heart (pneumatically-powered) into a middle aged man who survives ninety-six hours.  (Doctor: D.A. Cooley, Engineer: D. Liotta).


1969 - First implantation of a prosthetic heart valve on a human (Doctors: Cooley D., Liotta D., Hallman GL., Bloodwell RD., Leachman RD. and Milam RC.).


1970 - First ventricular defibrillation system (experimental). The implanted system works to automatically defibrillate the heart, rather than having to use a defibrillator machine (Doctors: Schuder JC, Stoeckle H., Gold JH., West JA, Keskar PY.)


1978 -  A permanent left ventricular system is implanted on a  man (Doctors: Portner PM., Oyer PE, Jassawalla JS, Miller PJ, Chen H., Lafroge DH, Skyette KW.).


1978 - “BioMedicus disposable centrifugal pump” (Echo.gmu.edu, 2019) is commercially sold (an artificial heart).  (Designed by: H. Kletschka).


1982 - Patients who undergo surgery and get an artificial heart and survive 112 days with it, then get a more upgraded permanent artificial heart called Jarvik-7 (Doctors: W. DeVries, Engineers: W. Kolff and team, Location: Salt Lake City).




1984 - First successful clinically implanted system that is electrically - powered (called the Novacor LFVA) is implanted into a male patient (Engineer: P. Portner).


1986 - The first idea of an  artificial liver using porcine hepatitis (a virus), (Described by DeMetriou).


1994 - “FDA approved of the pneumatically-driven HeartMate LVAD (the first pump with textured blood-contacting surfaces).” (Echo.gmu.edu, 2019).


1998 - FDA approved of (HeartMate VE and Novacor LVAS) electrically-powered, wearable assist systems.  They are used in more than 4,000 procedures to date.


Left Ventricle Assist Device:


1999 - First clinically fully-implantable circulatory support system (LionHeart LVAS) is implanted into two patients.


2002 - “FDA approval of the HeartMate VE LVAD for permanent use.” (Echo.gmu.edu, 2019).



Bibliography: Echo.gmu.edu. (2019). Artificial Organ History: A Selective Timeline. [online] Available at: http://www.echo.gmu.edu/bionics/exhibits.htm [Accessed 5 May 2019].

Original Post

Hi Haley,

Nice round of research! It was very neat and organized, and it was interesting to see how much technology has evolved over the last century and a bit. Great job! The fact that in 1929, doctors managed to keep a dog's severed head functioning is slightly unsettling, but extremely fascinating at the same time. I wouldn't think that that would be possible, especially in the 1920's. But, I suppose I was wrong. I think that it was a great idea to see the history of artificial organs... perhaps in another round of research you could discuss projections for the future of artificial organs?

Here are some articles you might want to give a read:




Good luck!

Hi @Haley Mills (LFAS)

Wow the first picture captivated my attention for sure. I am legitimately surprised and so glad that would not be the heart we would use.
Moving on from that, this was an interesting post! Reading the timeline of the artificial organ shows the progress people have made throughout the years. In hindsight, the speed is slow but better than none! Having some form of device is definitely great, and in the future of medical practices, it will continue to evolve and improve. 

Something you may want to look at is the present organ developments that are being worked on! Here is some to jumpstart your research: 




Nicely done! 


 Hi Haley! 

 Neat research! I was really surprised to know that the first artificial heart dated all the way back to 1885. 1885! That’s crazy! I always believed artificial organs were a more modern invention, but that’s really cool that they were first invented so long ago. I also was interested by the concept of the ‘Sandwich’ artificial kidney, it’s interesting to know that something invented so long ago was able to mimic the actions of a natural kidney. 

 If you’re interested, you could pick a specific artificial organ you mentioned and look at how it was first developed compared to how it’s used nowadays, if it is. 

 Good job! 

Hey Haley!

Great round of research! the organization and presentation is easy to comprehend and and read which is really nice.  It's incredible to me that we humans have accomplished this, especially that it in fact started more than 100 years ago.  Our advancements are just incredible considering how far we have have and the life we have saved because of it.

Something you could look into next is the system of the transplant list.  


As well as the the qualifications to get on the list.


These could be really interesting rounds and things to look into!

Good luck!


I find this topic interesting.  Unfortunately, I personally can appreciate the research and advancement of artificial organs. My father has Lupus, an autoimmune disease that has reduced his kidney function to less than 20%.  It is challenging to find a match for an organ transplant, so an artificial one could help my father and a thousands of others on the organ transplant list. He also ended up having 2 open heart surgerys last year and now has a metal heart valve, and pacemaker. It is amazing how many lives are saved and improved by these advancements. In pursuit of fully artificial organs there has been medical advancements that have been made to support and repair organs.

I look forward to reading about the latest advancements in artificial Kidneys. Interesting topic about the tecnological developments. What is also amazing is the  human factor of how this research has affected peoples lives. 


Hey Haley!

Great post about the evolution of artificial organs. This chronological list of organs made reading your research very easy to understand and even more interesting! Like Sophie, I am also very surprised that the first artificial organ was created in 1885! I do not associate this century with innovative medical findings/procedures, but evidently, innovation is a must to dream up a functioning man-made human heart. The images also helped a lot with my comprehension, so I encourage you to use more photos when possible!

Below are some interesting sources about artificial organs that may be of use to you for your upcoming research:




Great job and good luck!

Hi Haley,

Wow! Looking at this timeline made me realize that modern technology has come a far way since the first artificial organs. This was a really interesting read; very well-organized, and the pictures were really useful. A really cool concept that is currently being studied is developing a man-made brain. There are a TON of factors that are controversial about this topic, but the actual process behind it is extremely intricate. Here's a link about brain transplants:


Good luck

Hi Haley,

Looking at this timeline has hit me how technology is developing fast throughout the years. Your post was very informative and included many facts about certain transplants. I think it would be awesome to look into the positives and negatives resulting from transplants. There has always been controversy on this topic for many reasons, and I believe it would be interesting to dig into opposing opinions. 

Here's some sources that can help you out! 



Good luck

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