BiVACOR: AN UNBREAKABLE HEART

By Danielle Koopman A Brisbane-based team has achieved what many thought impossible. Biomedical engineer Dr Dan Timms and intensive care Associate Professor John Fraser have teamed up in Prince Charles Hospital to design and develop BiVACOR – a revolutionary artificial heart, set to save thousands of lives. The fist-sized, titanium device could also vastly improve the quality of life for many hundreds of thousands more people waiting for transplants and others whose hearts require temporary assistance due to viral infections and autoimmune illnesses. Dr Timms said the deceptively simple device uses magnetics, a spinning disc and centrifugal force to pump blood around the body. Five years in the making, it’s small, reliable and has a balanced blood flow, a winning combination that gives it the edge over current products. According to Dr Timms, the BiVACOR’s design advantages include the fact that it is small enough to implant in an 8 year old child, but powerful enough to support an adult. It’s also designed to function for more than 10 years and allow recipients to live a relatively normal life. “Typically the left side of the heart fails first because it has to work harder than right, pumping blood around the ...

The Queenslander House

Anyone who has lived in a Queenslander house will tell you they have character and each one is an individual. Each has its own variation – a window sill that’s not quite straight; the enchanting shadow cast by sunlight streaming through timber fretwork; a little slit at the bottom of a skirting board that lets in a bracing winter wind; a wide veranda that shades your family from the summer blaze and welcomes the warming winter sun. The Queenslander house is unique, a design icon, a building that says much about its origins. Associate Professor Peter Skinner, Queensland President of the Australian Institute of Architects, points out that the Queenslander was designed to work within its unique environment. “The lifestyle in the Queenslander house was different to that of Britain, Europe and southern Australian states,” he says. “We lived with the doors and windows open. We relaxed, entertained and chatted to the neighbours on the street from the veranda.” When one hears the word Queenslander, in relation to a building, a clear vision usually emerges: a timber house with a steep-pitched tin roof, surrounded or at the very least punctuated by a wide verandah, high-set on stumps with decorative timber ...

Unveiling Queenslandersign

Can design really make a better world? Can it make a better Queensland? The members of the Queensland Design Council know design can, indeed has already, made a difference to communities across Queensland and the world. You have only to read some of the amazing case studies on this site to be convinced. The Thuringowa Riverway project has created a cultural heart for its community, FloodAid matched those in need with those who could give during recent Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi, Husque is the perfect example of finding beauty in reusable materials, Street Swags are providing security and comfort to the homeless and ditto is relieving the pain of child patients in hospitals across the world. And these are all Queensland design innovations! QUEENSLANDERSIGN is about celebrating the best of Queensland design and also hearing from Queenslanders about design innovations in their own communities and projects in need of a better design solution. We also hope that teachers, students, business people, designers and government officers use this site for inspiration and resources, as well as a portal to other great design sites and Queensland designers and design companies themselves. If you’d like your project to be considered by the ...