Smithsonian Snapshot

February 14, 2011

Liotta-Cooley Artificial Heart

Liotta-Cooley Artificial Heart, 1969
Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

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.