Auckland University scientists have developed the technology to power a wireless heart pump which could eventually be an alternative to heart transplants. Scientists from the University’s Bioengineering Institute, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Department of Physiology developed the pump which uses magnetic fields to transfer power through a person’s skin and can pump on average seven litres of blood per minute and operate 24 hours a day. Auckland Bioengineering Institute technology development leader Dr David Budgett said the technology has the potential to save many lives worldwide as few donor hearts are available. “The objective here is to make this alternative much more attractive than a heart transplant,” Budgett said. He said the technology for the wireless heart pump, which has a price tag of $122,000 had been licensed to the US medical company MicroMed with a view to starting clinical trials within 18 months.