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Aim to make artificial hearts 'permanent solution'

18 December 2013 Last updated at 10:11 GMT

The US company behind artificial hearts, SynCardia Systems, has announced it has signed a deal for a $14 million (£8.6 million) investment into expanding the technology.

Matthew Green, the first ever recipient of an artificial heart in the UK, told the Today programme's Evan Davis that it "did the job very well for two years" while he was waiting for a full heart transplant.

Describing the device, he said the batteries that powered the heart "were about five or six inches long" and had to be changed every two hours.

The BBC's Tom Feilden explained the idea of replacing the heart with an artificial version "started with just little bits", such as valves.

He added that the goal now is to make the artificial heart a "permanent solution", but that this is "a long way off".

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday 18 December 2013.

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