At the intersection of medical invention and indigenous culture, pediatric cardiologist Franz Freudenthal mends holes in the hearts of children across the world, using a device born from traditional Bolivian loom weaving. “The most complex problems in our time,” he says, “can be solved with simple techniques, if we are able to dream.”



With his unique inventions (including a device knitted from threads of high-tech alloy by indigenous craftswomen), Franz Freudenthal saves children from congenital heart defects.


Why you should listen

In his quest to understand the complexities of congenital heart disease, Bolivian-German physician and inventor Franz Freudenthal creates and produces sophisticated devices aimed at improving the lives of patients, especially children that will carry this device inside their heart for the rest of their lives.

His most heralded invention, the Nit Occlud, closes a hole in the heart or arteries and restores basic heart functionality. Freudenthal works with top scientists and universities from Europe and North and South America; however, his heart is in Bolivia, where he works with a team of engineers and highly skilled laborers and dreams of healthy children.