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Smithsonian's "Bionic Man" Documentary Featuring the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart Earns British Film Award

TUCSON, Ariz., Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The story of the bionic man with the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart has become an award-winning documentary that is making the rounds on television worldwide.


The television debut of "How to Build a Bionic Man" won a British Documentary Award for Best Science or Natural History Documentary. The award was presented Nov. 4, 2013 by The Grierson Trust, which annually honors the best documentary filmmaking in Britain and elsewhere. Judges described the documentary as a "mix of fascinating science and humor." The project to put together a robot using the latest technology was a joint effort that included the Smithsonian and London's Science Museum. The robot is on display at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum until Dec. 11.

More than one billion viewers around the world were captivated by news coverage of the show. News mentioning SynCardia or its Artificial Heart was seen by more than 180.7 million people in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australia. Also, most news coverage that did not directly mention SynCardia or the Total Artificial Heart showed the SynCardia Heart in news segments reaching millions more viewers. In addition, hundreds of millions saw the 46-minute documentary that had more than six minutes devoted to the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart. These numbers are growing as distribution to other markets continues to roll out.

The show debuted in the United Kingdom on February 2013. The US version titled "The Incredible Bionic Man" started broadcasting on the Smithsonian Channel on Oct. 20, 2013. It also was shown on Brazilian and Canadian television and eventually will appear in other countries. It is available on the internet in some areas of the world and is also available through iTunes.

The 46-minute film shows roboticists and engineers putting together a $1 million robot using the most advanced technology available or in prototype that replace human organs and limbs. While host Dr. Bertholt Meyer expresses hope that the organ prototypes would one day be available, he notes that the SynCardia Heart is already saving lives today.

A six-minute segment of the documentary featured the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart, showing the implantation in a patient at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. Built by SynCardia Systems Inc. in Tucson, Arizona, the device is the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE (Europe) approved Total Artificial Heart. It serves as a bridge to transplant for patients suffering from end-stage heart failure that affects both sides of the heart (biventricular failure).

The SynCardia Heart is the only manmade device that eliminates the symptoms and source of end-stage biventricular heart failure. It has been implanted in more than 1,200 patient's worldwide, accounting for more than 335 patient years of life on the device.

Watch and read stories about the Bionic Man's SynCardia Total Artificial Heart.

Read more about the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart in the bionic man.

Watch "The Incredible Bionic Man."

About the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart

SynCardia Systems, Inc. (Tucson, AZ) is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. Originally used as a permanent replacement heart, the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people suffering from end stage heart failure affecting both sides of the heart (biventricular failure). There have been more than 1,200 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 335 patient years of life on the device.

Similar to a heart transplant, the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves. It is the only device that eliminates the symptoms and source of end stage biventricular failure. Unlike a donor heart, the Total Artificial Heart is immediately available at 93 SynCardia Certified Centers worldwide with 35 others in the process of certification.

The Total Artificial Heart provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute through each ventricle. This high volume of blood flow helps speed the recovery of vital organs, helping make the patient a better transplant candidate.

Forbes Ranks SynCardia #69 Among "America's Most Promising Companies"

In its February 2013 issue, Forbes selected SynCardia as one of "America's Most Promising Companies" for the second consecutive year. On the list of 100 privately held, high-growth companies with bright futures, SynCardia was selected #69, moving up eight spots from its #77 ranking last year. See the full list of SynCardia Awards & Recognition.

For additional information, please visit:
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SOURCE SynCardia Systems, Inc.
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