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Medicine United Kingdom Science

Engineer Designs His Own Heart Valve Implant 151

nametaken writes "In 2000, Tal Golesworthy, a British engineer, was told that he suffers from Marfan syndrome, a disorder of the connective tissue that often causes rupturing of the aorta. The only solution then available was the pairing of a mechanical valve and a highly risky blood thinner. To an engineer like Golesworthy, that just wasn't good enough. So he constructed his own implant that does the job better than the existing solution--and became the first patient to try it."
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Engineer Designs His Own Heart Valve Implant

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  • Re:Hardcore... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Thursday January 27, 2011 @12:03AM (#35016592) Journal

    Implanting a heart valve of your own design into your own chest would only be made sweeter if it had been fabricated on your own 3D printer.

  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <`moc.stiucricve' `ta' `ive'> on Thursday January 27, 2011 @01:27AM (#35016950) Homepage

    Communications. The people that design your meds and implants are doctors and PhD's. They actually have very little understanding of solving problems in the real world. I work in the field as a support staff but actually graduated in industrial electronics. I recently had to explain 3 PhD's from the EE department how to interface a 10MHz optical signal with a coax cable - they were going to rework the whole link, I recommended they buy a media converter.

  • by 2Bits ( 167227 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @01:41AM (#35017004)

    Just a few comments, and all the negative comments already: big deal, there is nothing new here.

    You know what, when I hear news like that, it really gives me more confidence in technical people (engineers, scientists, geeks, etc). The guy got a heart problem, he got the skills (with the help of doctors and others, probably) to design the best solution for himself, and in the meantime, for other people too. And guess what, he even got the ball to install it on himself first. And it seems to work just fine. What can be more cool, more geeky, more nerdy than that? Sure, it's only "a small sample of 30ish", as someone said here. So what? Even if this solution only applies to one person, it is still a fucking cool solution.

    For me, I'd like to hear news like that everyday, that's news for nerds, stuff that matters. If I had kids, I would tell them this, and other similar stories, as bed-time stories everyday.

  • Re:Um... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Another, completely ( 812244 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @04:19AM (#35017514)

    But in 2004, they couldn't have had this bit:

    Since then, 23 patients have successfully had the implant fitted and another seven are hoping to undergo the procedure.

    and without that it's just lucky.

  • by malloc ( 30902 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @12:10PM (#35020730)

    This is an anomaly. The medical community(doctors in particular) doesn't cotton to these sorts of antics from outsiders. Just wait to this becomes more widely known amongst the Doctor fraternity. It will become like mid-wifery - a fringe practice prone to potentially costing your baby its life.

    To clarify, you mean how many Obstetricians consider mid-wifery "a fringe practice prone to potentially costing your baby its life", despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary?[1]

    [1] See Google, really

  • by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @12:18PM (#35020844) Journal

    Golesworthy believes that projects such as this demonstrate that the interface between engineers and the rest of the world isn't functioning in the way it should.

    On the contrary, I feel that the interface between doctors and the rest of the world isn't functioning in the way it should. Much of engineering is focused on customer needs, where as doctor's tend to have an attitude of superiority that breaks down communication. The field of biomedical engineering [] aims to fix that.

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