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Kolff Laboratory  Search this
Physical Description:
silastic (overall material)
dacron (overall material)
surgical tape (overall material)
brass (overall material)
white metal (overall material)
overall: 16 cm x 26.5 cm x 13 cm; 6 5/16 in x 10 7/16 in x 5 1/8 in
overall: 5 1/4 in x 10 1/2 in x 6 1/2 in; 13.335 cm x 26.67 cm x 16.51 cm
Object Name:
test rig
heart, artificial
Place made:
United States: Utah, Salt Lake City
Date made:
This test rig was used to analyze the ventricles made for the Atomic Energy Artificial Heart. An artificial heart driven by atomic energy was financed by the Atomic Energy Commission, and by Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA). In 1977 the ERDA became the United States Department of Energy, which lost interest in the development of a nuclear heart. The engine was made by North America/Phillips while the silastic ventricles were made in Kolff's laboratory. Kolff replaced the Sterling engine with a small electromotor on the pump and obtained survival of a calf for 35 days with this artificial heart.
Currently not on view
Artificial Organs  Search this
Medicine  Search this
Cardiology  Search this
Related Publication:
Shelley McKellar. Negotiating Risk: The Failed Development of Atomic Hearts in America, 1967-1977 in Technology and Culture
Credit Line:
Willim J. Kolff, M.D.
ID Number:
Accession number:
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See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Government, Politics, and Reform
Artificial Hearts
Data Source:
National Museum of American History