Heart pumps:

As reported throughout the media ,
former vice president Dick Cheney had
surgery to place a pump in his heart.
During the procedure, a left ventricular
assist device (LVAD) was implanted in
his chest. The technology of the
implanted LVAD—now marketed
through Thoratec Corporation and
named the HeartMate II, was
developed through a collaborative
effort that included engineers and
clinical scientists of the McGowan
Institute for Regenerative Medicine .

The device is a miniature rotary pump
with axial flow bearings and is intended
for patients with end-stage heart
failure. Typically the device is used
mainly for short periods, to buy
potential heart transplant candidates
time as they await a donor organ.
However, since the FDA’s approval of
the device in January 2010, they are
also used as a permanent therapy—
destination therapy—for people with
severe heart failure who aren't
transplant candidates.

A key feature of the design is a
sophisticated control system  that
senses when to increase or decrease
the rate of blood flow. Other approved
and experimental devices require
manual adjustments. The controller
was the brainchild of McGowan
Institute affiliated faculty member
James Antaki, PhD.  The control
system involves a patented algorithm
that permits the LVAD to respond to
the needs of the patient based on the
level of activity, generating up to10
liters of blood flow per minute, a rate
that would be required to climb stairs,
for example.

In December 2011 the FDA  approved
the first heart pump for children with
heart failure, offering an important
treatment option for patients who are
too small to receive adult implants.

The device from Germany-based
Berlin Heart will be used to keep
children alive until they can receive a
heart transplant. Very few medical
devices are designed specifically for
children, posing major challenges to
doctors and surgeons who treat
pediatric cases of life-threatening

Heart failure is rare in children, and the
device was approved under a special
program for diseases that affect fewer
than 4,000 patients per year. Among
infants, the typical wait time for a heart
transplant is more than four months.
Nearly a quarter of all infants die while
waiting for a transplant. And up to 17
percent of all children die while on the
wait list for a transplant.

The Excor Pediatric System heart
device comes in various sizes to
accommodate patients ranging from
infants to teenagers.

The device was studied in a trial of 48
patients, which showed that those
implanted with the Excor device
survived longer than those using a
device similar to a heart-lung machine.
The trial was supported by three FDA
grants totaling $1.2 million.

The Berlin Heart is a ventricular assist
device, used to allow time for children
who are waiting for heart transplants,
whose hearts are not strong enough to
pump blood around their bodies.

The bulk of the device works outside
the body and is intended as temporary
until a permanent heart is found. It may
work on that basis for several months.
Made by a German company of the
same name.

ventricular assist device at Miami
Transplant Institute;

Impella by Abiomed Inc and Cancion
by Orquis Medical;

Artificial Blood Vessels;

Tissue engineered new blood vessels
to substitute bypass surgery Carmel
Medical Ctr Israel;