Liotta-Cooley Artificial Heart, 1969

Dr. Denton A. Cooley performed the first total artificial heart implant in the world April 4, 1969, in Houston. The device, developed by Dr. Domingo Liotta, was implanted in a 47-year-old patient with severe heart failure.

The patient lived for nearly three days with the artificial heart until a human heart was available for transplant. This experience demonstrated the viability of artificial hearts as a bridge to transplant in cardiac patients.

This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is not on display at the National Museum of American History.

Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

Posted: 14 February 2011
About the Author:

Jessica Porter Sadeq has worked in the Central Office of Public Affairs since June 2007. In August 2008 she joined the Internal Communications department as an internal communications coordinator.