In-vivo evaluation of the "HIA-VAD": a new German ventricular assist device

The Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon
G RakhorstH Reul


Helmholtz Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) are pneumatically driven polyurethane membrane pumps with various volumes. The pumps are placed paracorporeally and connected with commercially available cannulas between the left atrium and aorta (left ventricular assist device) and/or right atrium and pulmonary artery (right ventricular assist device, bi-ventricular assist device). The pumps can be driven with a stand-alone driving system or with a Helmholtz IABP-console interface. Seventeen animal experiments (on calves) with Helmholtz VAD's were performed to evaluate experimental protocols, to optimize surgical techniques, and to improve design and manufacturing techniques. Blood chemistry and cell counts demonstrated that the tested HIA-70 produces low mechanical blood damage. In the course of the animal experiments the Helmholtz VAD's were made totally transparent, whereby they became easy to de-air, efficient, and affordable.


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