Daytime and nighttime systems of powering artificial hearts without wires or tubes are being developed by John C. Schuder, PhD, and Dr. Hugh E. Stephenson, Jr., of the University of Missouri School of Medicine.
Both systems are based on power derived from an electromagnetic field. Energy crosses the chest wall from one coupling coil on the outside of the chest wall to a second coil implanted on the inner chest wall. The inner coil activates the artificial heart.
During the daytime, the patient with an artificial heart would wear a small rechargeable battery pack, Schuder explained. The energy from the batteries, transformed into high frequency energy by a transistor oscillator, would set up the magnetic field.
To free the patient from external equipment at night, Schuder and Stephenson have suggested that three large coils could be set up around the patient's bed. Because the coils are placed at right angles