I read up on one on NPR from 2011. Two doctors Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier at the Texas Heart Institute developed a machine from two ventricular assisting devices. “The doctors say the continuous-flow pump should last longer than other artificial hearts and cause fewer problems. That's because each side has just one moving part: the constantly whirling rotor”. The blood is just pushed straight through the artificial pump and allows for a continuous flow. With this device you will not hear a heartbeat, or feel a pulse, and when hooked up to an EKG you would flat line. What is interesting to know is that there is no reason for blood to be pumped versus a continuous flow. The only reason it pumps is because that is how the heart itself functions. Also because of how the pump functions it has a very low rate for failure. With a lack of moving parts there is a far less chance of a malfunction or failure. The end of the article ends with Cohn and Frazier hoping to prove to humans a pulse does not mean life, and a search for FDA approval.
The real question I think is will humans ever feel that without a pulse they can be human. The rhythmic feeling we have within our bodies is something that we associate with vitality and life. Even though this form of artificial heart may function better, and allow for blood to flow better throughout the body I think humanity will find it pulse flaw to be a major one. One possible solution is that a pulse could be created to allow for someone to feel alive. But I think that this would take away from the free slowing form of the artificial heart. It will be interesting to see if these beatless hearts will begin to become the norm for transplant patients without anymore options. Will we have a human race walking around without any heartbeats or pulses soon? And if we do how will we define being alive, how will it be proven?