Cardiac Assist Pump

Despite use of the most sophisticated pharmacologic and device therapies for treating heart failure, most patients reach an advanced stage of the disease that requires a heart transplant or implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). A large device, the LVAD takes over the entire pumping function of the heart. These traditional heart pumps require both an external battery pack worn around the waist and a port in the chest or abdomen for connecting wires, which is uncomfortable to the patient, restricts lifestyle, and is associated with many complications. Hani Sabbah, Ph.D., and Gregory Auner, Ph.D., designed a cardiac assist pump that takes over only part of the pumping function to allow the failing heart muscle to rest, recover and potentially resume the full pumping workload. The pump itself is tiny. As many as 50 micro-pumps are chained together to generate the pumping volume necessary to assist the heart. Because of its small size and low power consumption, the cardiac assist pump can be charged via induction. This design eliminates the need for power lines and allows the patient to maintain a more independent lifestyle and better quality of life.