August 3, 2007 - World Heart Corp. (WorldHeart), a developer of mechanical circulatory support systems, recently announced a successful animal implant of a miniaturized, pediatric, ventricular assist device (VAD) called the PediaFlow, which is designed for a future minimally invasive adult VAD, intended to meet a large clinical need for earlier-stage heart failure patients.
The acute implant, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, focused on initial biocompatibility and mechanical function under physiologic conditions. Encouraging bench testing results led to the animal implant, performed by Peter Wearden, MD, PhD and assisted by Robert Kormos, MD (cardiac surgeons at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, respectively).
The PediaFlow VAD is an implantable, magnetically levitated blood pump based on WorldHeart's proprietary rotary VAD MagLev technology. In its pediatric configuration, the device is designed to provide a flow rate from 0.3 to 1.5 L/min. Development is funded by the National Institutes of Health, and involves a consortium that includes the University of Pittsburgh, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and WorldHeart.
For more information: www.worldheart.com