Jarvik-7 Artificial Heart

This dissected Jarvik-7 Total Artificial Heart (TAH), was implanted in Murray Haydon, the third artificial heart recipient, July 20, 1986. The operation took place at the Humana Heart Institute International in Louisville, Kentucky. Haydon lived with the implanted blood pump for 488 days. The Jarvik-7 TAH has a right and left ventricle with four tilting disc valves. Each ventricle contains a flexible diaphragm constructed of multi layered polyurethane. The TAH is driven by an external pneumatic pump, the Utah drive System II. Mr. Haydon lived with the artificial heart for 488 days.
William DeVries, is a cardio-thoracic surgeon became who became recognized around the world as the surgeon who implanted the first Jarvik-7 in dentist Barney Clark in December 1982. He received his medical degree from the University of Utah, and completed his residency at the Duke Medical Center. He was a research associate in the Kolff laboratory while still in medical school.
Numerous scientists and engineers worked on the development of the artificial heart, but it was Robert Jarvik, M.D. in the Kolff laboratory who changed the TAH from a sphere to an elliptical shape allowing it to fit more easily into the chest cavity. Jarvik also added a third and fourth bladder to each ventricle creating more flexibility and durability. The addition of two extra rubber bellows allowed for more vigorous blood flow. His improvements allowed the correct amount of blood 100cc's, to circulate through the body. Jarvik also experimented with materials using polyurethane Biomar to create surfaces inside the housing which prevented blood thrombosis or clotting. The highly publicized artificial heart operations brought attention to the triumphs of scientific technology as well as its limitations, and costs, both literal and figurative.
Currently not on view
Object Name
heart, artificial
date made
ca 1984
Symbion, Inc.
Physical Description
polyurethane (overall material)
polyvinylchloride (overall material)
dacron (overall material)
velcro (overall material)
overall, as stored: 3 3/8 in x 5 3/8 in x 6 5/8 in; 8.5725 cm x 13.6525 cm x 16.8275 cm
overall: 10 cm x 13.5 cm x 11 cm; 3 15/16 in x 5 5/16 in x 4 11/32 in
place made
United States: Utah, Salt Lake City
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Artificial Organs
Health Care
Artificial Hearts
Health & Medicine
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Artificial Hearts
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
William C. DeVries, M.D.

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