A transcutaneous energy transmission system (TETS) has been used to power to Penn State motor driven ventricular assist device in nine calf experiments, for a total of 316 days of cumulative in vivo experience. This is seen as an important step toward a completely implantable ventricular assist system and total artificial heart. The TETS converts an external 12 volt DC source via inductive coupling to a regulated 14 volt output voltage for use by the motor controller. A maximum output power of 70 watts is available. In calf experiments, the TETS output power averaged between 8 and 12 watts. The motor controller was not implanted in these experiments, awaiting further development of the miniaturized electronics. The TETS output was returned percutaneously to the external motor controller, allowing the TETS output to be monitored directly. System efficiency, from DC source to DC output, and including losses in 12 feet of cable, ranged from 55% to 70%, depending upon supply voltage, motor load, and degree of coil coupling. The subcutaneous coil was well tolerated, demonstrating only temporary, mild, superficial induration.
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