Project: Research project

Project Details


Our interdisciplinary group has developed a pneumatic artificial
heart that has FDA approval and is now being used in clinical
application as a bridge to cardiac transplantation. Moreover, we
have made important strides in the development of an implantable
electric artificial heart (seven months survival - world record). We propose continued evaluation of the pneumatic heart in
animals (eight - ten animals/yr) with specific attention to device-
host interaction including hematologic studies to evaluate blood
damage, evidence of platelet activation and thrombosis, exercise
physiology during different control modes, the hemodynamic
effects of vasoactive and anesthetic drugs to better understand
the modes of action of these drugs in artificial heart patients, and
the renal physiology to better understand the fluid and salt
retention seen in artificial heart animals and patients. Also
included in the proposed workscope will be continued clinical
application of the pneumatic artificial heart in transplant
candidates in shock to provide complete circulatory support prior
to transplantation (one to two patients per year). Evidence has accumulated indicating the potential advantages of
an artificial heart that requires no percutaneous tubes or wires.
Power for such a heart will be provided by a rechargeable
portable battery pack, easily carried by the patient. Major
progress has been made by our group in developing a compact,
reversing brushless DC motor driven heart that uses a roller screw
motion translator. We propose to continue the development of
this heart. The proposed research includes the use of electrical
energy transmission by inductive coupling, eliminating the need
for any percutaneous tubes. Electric hearts that take advantage
of the most modern mechanical and electrical engineering
techniques available will be fabricated in our laboratory.
Important modifications will decrease the size and weight of the
electric heart and increase the reliability. Bench testing,
computer simulation and animal implant studies are important
components of the proposed work. Complete development of this
system will result in a practical implantable artificial heart that
will be a useful therapeutic device for certain patients with end-
stage heart disease.
Effective start/end date12/31/898/31/99


  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


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