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Female Taiwanese PhD develops maglev artificial heart

2021-03-11 Editor : Luo Pan ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- Artificial hearts, dubbed "pearls in the crown" of the cardiovascular medical eqquipment, have one of the most complex and intricate control systems.

Xu Boling, 38, born in Taiwan, achieved a double PhD at Cambridge University and RWTH Aachen University.

She led an international research team to build the mainland's first production line of artificial heart using magnetic levitation techniques.

"It took us about three years for our maglev artificial hearts to enter the clinical trial. By contrast, it usually takes over 8 years on average internationally," said Xu.

The gear-shaped metal mechanism in the medical staff's hand has a magnetic levitation device in the center, with a rotational speed of 4,000-6,000 rpm.
It is the core of a maglev artificial heart, which functions as an external blood pump in times of patient emergencies.

In the 1980s,as a little girl, Xu often went to her father's factory in Shanghai, soldering electronic components onto circuit boards. When she grew up, she started to help her father draw computer blueprints and code.

When she was studying electrical engineering at Cambridge, her tutors inspired her to join a project for developing ultra-small and minimally-invasive artificial hearts to curb heart failure, Xu said.

Xu finished the artificial heart sample during her studies at RWTH Aachen University in Germany.

When Xu returned to China, she discovered a great demand for this medical instrument. During experiments, her team developed a magnetic levitation device to overcome the hemolysis problem.

With extraordinary efforts, Xu's team completed the prototype of the first artificial heart device using magnetic levitation in the mainland. The product is expected to be launched at the end of 2022. Another type of artificial heart based on interventional technology is projected to come out in 2023.


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