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New Mechanical Devices for Heart Failure

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Following their extensive track record in heart transplant and left ventricular assist devices, ICAN partners have started the development of implantable pressure sensors that will serve as monitoring devices to assess intra-ventricular pressure. This wireless system will be used to monitor the intra-aneurysmal pressure following non-surgical intervention. This patented biosystem is developed within an industrial consortium involving different research teams and France Telecom as an industrial partner. A young start up called Bionicom has been recently created.

Another means to substitute the failing myocardium is the use of left ventricular assistance devices (LVADs). Recent progress in this technology makes possible to use these devices not only as bridge to heart transplantation but also as destination therapy i.e. chronic implantation. One of the innovative bioengineering programmes developed by the surgical group of ICAN will be to develop miniaturized devices and cardiac pumps in order to facilitate their implantation.

Continuous flow pump are nowadays the gold standard for VAD. However, long term outcome of patients implanted with these pumps remains uncertain and lack of pulsatility may remain an issue for patients with severe heart failure. ICAN partners are developing a new pulsatile axial ventricular assist device “Pulsecmo”, using a magneto-active polymer instead of ferro-fluid and also a magneto-active actuator in which a mechanical prosthetic valve is incorporated. ICAN partners will pursue their active collaboration with the electrodynamics laboratory from the Institut National Polytechnique, Toulouse, France to promote the development of innovative assist devices.