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Test Bench Results of a Novel Pediatric Biventricular Assist Device
Stéphanie F. Perrodin, Mathieu Van Steenberghe, Piergiorgio Tozzi.
CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland.

OBJECTIVE: Ventricular assist devices (VAD) are widely used for the treatment of acute and chronic heart failure in children. Most pediatric devices are extracorporeal centrifugal pumps. Research currently focuses on miniaturizing axial pumps to make them entirely implantable. To suppress the need for extensive surgery and long-term anticoagulation we developed an external biventricular assist device for children made of Nitinol. The aim of this study is to evaluate the performance of this device in a test bench.
METHODS: Coiled Nitinol wires were attached vertically between two discs at the apex and base of a heart model and powered by a generator. Ejection fraction, heart rate, cardiac output and generated systolic pressure were measured at various settings of preload and afterload.
RESULTS: The test bench settings where the following : end-diastolic volume of heart model 26 ml, preload range 0 - 15 mmHg, afterload range 0 - 160 mmHg. The power supply was 35 V and 3.5 A during 1.5 seconds. With a diastole lasting 1.5 seconds, the maximal heart rate was 20 beats per second. The ejection fraction range was 1.2 - 34.4 % depending on the afterload, and the cardiac output 6 - 180 ml/min.
CONCLUSIONS: External biventricular assistance in children is technically feasible. This device could be implanted trough minimally invasive surgery and wouldn’t require anticoagulation therapy. It could support the failing heart once every third beat and significantly improve the patient’s symptoms and quality of life.


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