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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2013;2013:2720-3. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2013.6610102.

The helical flow total artificial heart: implantation in goats.


To realize a total artificial heart (TAH) with high performance, high durability, good anatomical fitting, and good blood compatibility, the helical flow TAH (HFTAH) has been developed with two helical flow pumps having hydrodynamic levitation impeller. The HFTAH was implanted in goats to investigate its anatomical fitting, blood compatibility, mechanical stability, control stability, and so on. The size of the HFTAH was designed to be 80 mm in diameter and 84 mm wide. The maximum output was 19 L/min against 100 mmHg of pressure head. Eight adult female goats weighting from 45 to 56.3 kg (average 49.7 kg) were used. Under the extracorporeal circulation, natural heart was removed at the atrioventricular groove and the HFTAH was implanted. The HFTAH was driven with a pulsatile mode. The 1/R control was applied when the right atrial pressure recovered. The HFTAH could be implanted with good anatomical fitting in all goats. Two goats survived for more than a week. One goat is ongoing. Other goats did not survive for more than two days with various reasons. In the goats that survived for more than a week, the hydrodynamic bearing was worn and broken, which indicated that the bearing touched to the shaft. The cause was supposed to be the influence of the sucking effect. The potential of the HFTAH could be demonstrated with this study. The stability of the hydrodynamic bearing in a living body, especially the influence of the sucking effect, was considered to be very important and a further study should be necessary.

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