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Towards the Development of a Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device


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The very limited options available to treat ventricular failure in children with congenital and acquired heart diseases have motivated the development of a pediatric ventricular assist device at the University of Pittsburgh (UoP) and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Our effort involves a consortium consisting of UoP, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP), Carnegie Mellon University, World Heart Corporation, and LaunchPoint Technologies, Inc. The overall aim of our program is to develop a highly reliable, biocompatible ventricular assist device (VAD) for chronic support (6 months) of the unique and high-risk population of children between 3 and 15 kg (patients from birth to 2 years of age). The innovative pediatric ventricular assist device we are developing is based on a miniature mixed flow turbodynamic pump featuring magnetic levitation, to assure minimal blood trauma and risk of thrombosis. This review article discusses the limitations of current pediatric cardiac assist treatment options and the work to date by our consortium toward the development of a pediatric VAD.

Keywords: ECMO; Magnetic levitation; Turbodynamic pump; Ventricular assist device (VAD)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Bioengineering & McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA 2: Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA 3: Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA 4: LaunchPoint Technologies Inc., Goleta, CA 93117, USA 5: World Heart Corporation, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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