HeartQuest Ventricular Assist Device Magnetically Levitated Centrifugal Blood Pump

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Improvements in implantable ventricular assist device (VAD) performance will be required to obtain patient outcomes that are comparable with those of heart transplantation. The HeartQuest VAD (WorldHeart, Oakland, CA, U.S.A.) is an advanced device, with full magnetic suspension of the rotor, designed to address specific clinical shortcomings in existing devices and to maximize margins of safety and performance for an implantable assist device. The device dimensions are 35 × 75 mm, with a total weight of 440 g. The system was designed using extensive computer modeling of device function; a total of two iterations of device prototypes were built before building the clinical version. Animal study results have been very promising, with over 30 calf studies completed. Plasma-free hemoglobin levels returned to preoperative levels, and other hematology results were in the normal ranges. Highlights include clean surfaces seen in a 116-day experiment with no anticoagulation after day 43. Feasibility clinical trials are planned to start in 2006.

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