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Ann Thorac Surg. 1996 Jan;61(1):444-7.

Totally implantable intrathoracic ventricular assist device.

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Cardiovascular Devices Division, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ontario, Canada.



A totally implantable, intrathoracic electrohydraulic ventricular assist device (EVAD) is being developed for permanent use or as a bridge to transplantation.


The blood pump with 70-mL nominal stroke volume, volume displacement chamber, reversible turbine, internal electronics and infrared diaphragm position sensor are combined in one compact unit (unified system). The size and geometry are based on human anatomic measurements and fluid dynamic studies. A transcutaneous energy transfer powers the system and recharges the implantable nickel-cadmium battery pack. Autotuning circuitry optimizes energy transfer efficiency over a range of transcutaneous energy transfer coil spacings and misalignments. An infrared diaphragm position sensor detects end-systole and diastole points.


In vitro and acute in vivo tests have demonstrated flow rates greater than 6 L/min. The transcutaneous energy transfer system demonstrated power transfer efficiencies of 60% to 80% for power demands from 5 to 60 W. Thirteen systems are currently undergoing durability testing; one has run for more than 750 days failure-free. The system recently sustained circulation in an acute calf implantation for 96 hours.


Results of the in vitro and in vivo testing to date have demonstrated that the developed system can function effectively as a totally implantable ventricular assist device. Chronic in vivo evaluation is planned.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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