A long-term ventricular assist system

W. S. Pierce, A. J. Snyder, Gerson Rosenberg, William Weiss, Walter Pae, J. A. Waldhausen, B. P. Griffith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


An implantable, electrically powered pump that will provide tether-free circulatory support is being developed. The blood pump consists of a seamless polyurethane sac within a polylsulfone case. Bjork-Shiley Monostrut valves provide unidirectional flow. The blood sac is compressed by a pusher plate with a stroke of 1.9 cm and actuated by a brushless direct-current electric motor and motion translator. The current unit is completely sealed, and inductive coupling techniques provide the electrical energy. The system has an implantable electronic control system as well as a battery that provides 30 minutes of operation when the external coil is disconnected. During normal operation, however, the pump is powered by a portable battery pack or by house current. The unit can pump 8.5 L/min at physiologic pressures. Twenty- six animals have had circulatory support for a period of more than 1 week. The average period of pumping was 62 days; the longest was nearly 8 months. Experiments were terminated in 18 animals because of pump-related problems and in 8 because of biologically related problems. Studies to date are very encouraging and suggest that, with further refinement, a reliable 2-year assist pump that will have important clinical application can be developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-524
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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