The artificial organs program at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation: past, present, and future1
The artificial organs program at the Cleveland Clinic was reorganized in 1967. Active circulatory support programs, metabolic and immunoassist programs, and biomaterials and biocompatibility programs have been established during the past 16 years. A skeletomuscular assist program is in the process of being integrated into the artificial organs program. The main emphasis in the circulatory assist program is on the development of a permanent totally implantable artificial heart. In addition, a clinical temporary ventricular assist device, a permanent implantable ventricular assist system (electrical and thermal), and a nonpulsatile circulatory support system are included in the circulatory assist program. The metabolic and immunoassist program is directed toward the development of a system to modulate the human immune system in an effort to treat and prevent metabolic and immunological diseases. The biomaterials and compatibility program is devoted to the study of the interaction between “human spare parts” and/or artificial organs and human tissues and organs. Various types of innovative systems to replace or augment human organs are included in the scope of the artificial organs program, including the artificial heart, circulatory assist devices, artificial kidney, hepatic assist, pancreatic assist, immunoassist, oxygenator, and biomaterials.