Mending Broken Hearts

Current project

VIP Snapshot

With more and more people suffering from heart failure and fewer transplantations, the need for an artificial heart is greater than ever. The International Society for Mechanical Circulatory Support is running a competition for students to design the next generation total artificial heart, and so this is your chance to be involved at the ground level.

This project is open to students across the university!

VIP ChallENG research goals

  • Design the next "Smart" artificial heart.
  • Compete in the ISMCS competition "Heart-A-Thon" to design the next "smart" artificial heart!


  • Understand the design history of total artificial hearts.
  • Understand the physiological requirements of artificial circulation.
  • Identify pros and cons of previous designs for “smart” hearts.
  • Identify medical issues with current devices.
  • Identify human factor issues with current devices.
  • Identify social issues with patient cohort.


  • Identify Stakeholders
  • Identify user needs (patients, clinicians, surgeons etc).
  • Create designs for
    • Artificial Heart
    • User interface
    • Documentation
    • Training program
    • Patient support groups.


  • Using simulation, CAD, and 3-D printing to make prototypes.
  • Test prototypes on a bench top simulation.


  • Develop a business proposal and pitch to raise project funds.

Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences:

  • Activities to improve clinical understanding of device.
  • Activities to improve patient wellbeing

Desired Research Areas:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Science
  • Industrial Design
  • Humanities
  • Arts
  • Social Sciences
  • Business

Desired Skills:

  • CAD
  • 3D Printing
  • Electronics
  • Design
  • Programming
  • Business
  • Skills
  • Marketing
  • Communication
  • Social Research
  • Arts
  • Industrial Design