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Integrated Switchable Ventricular Assist Devices for Pediatric Patients

Friday, May 25, 2018

12:00 PM-2:00 PM

BIOMED PhD Research Proposal

Integrated Switchable Ventricular Assist Devices for Pediatric Patients

Harutyun (Harut) Sarkisyan, PhD Candidate, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University

Amy Throckmorton, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University

Thousands of children are born each year with significant cardiac defects that typically lead to the development of heart disease and ultimately premature congestive heart failure (CHF). In addition, hundreds of children are exposed to viruses and bacteria that attack the heart muscle, causing myocarditis or cardiomyopathy that leads to CHF. The current treatment paradigm involves pharmacologic agents to mitigate symptoms and slow the progression to failure.

Most severe cases require heart transplantation or the use of short or long-term mechanical circulatory support (MCS) systems, such as ventricular assist devices (VADs). Due to the shortage of donor hearts, waiting periods, and the difficulty of finding a donor heart, the implementation of MCS devices is on the rise as an alternative treatment strategy for pediatric patients with CHF. VADs specifically for children, continue to lag behind those developed for adults. In addition, there is no heart pump with the design innovation to support the dysfunctional states of heart failure and the range of the anatomic and physiological heterogeneity in pediatric patients from one stage of development to another. To address this unmet clinical need, I am developing two dual-configured mechanical blood pumps that only have two moving parts and the versatility to provide full or partial cardiovascular support to either the right or left ventricle of pediatric patients.

These devices will not only support pediatric patients (body surface area 0.7 m2), but they will also support their development. The VADs are being designed to be able to deliver flows of 1 - 5 L/min and pressure rises of 50 - 120 mmHg at 2,000 - 15,000 RPM. These innovative pump design concepts will last much longer than any VAD on the market or in development, support a wide range of patient ages and dysfunctional states of heart failure.

Contact Information

Ken Barbee

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Bossone Research Center, Room 709, located at 32nd and Market Streets.


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