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UK engineer develops own life-saving implant

This is a story to warm the cockles of the heart. You're dying of heart disease, and there's no solution except death or complicated open heart surgery, a mechanical valve, and blood-thinning drugs which may not work. But you're an engineer so you engineer your own solution.

Engineers are rarely portrayed as heroes, but they have the 'right stuff', as a glance at the website of the Royal Engineers suggests.

Told in 2000 that the aortic root in his heart was in danger of splitting, and working against deadline, British engineer Tal Golesworthy used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computer-aided design (CAD) with rapid prototyping (RP) techniques to manufacture "a tailor-made support that would act as an internal bandage to keep his aorta in place". It was not a straightforward task, and Golesworthy couldn't have done it without an element crucial to the best in British history - teamwork.

Golesworthy enlisted the help of Prof Tom Treasure, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Guy’s Hospital, and Prof John Pepper, a surgeon from the Royal Brompton Hospital. In 2004 Golesworthy "became the first recipient of his own invention after undergoing surgery at the Royal Brompton Hospital", followed by 23 others.

The Engineer - who else? has the details here. Link thanks again to the inestimable Instapundit.

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