Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Engineering Challenges for Next Generation VADs

Critical challenges to overcome include the development of non-platelet activating impellers and hypothrombogenic surfaces in modern ventricular assist devices (VADs). Percutaneous and transcutaneous electric drive systems will need to evolve, and clinical research is needed to reduce thromboembolism and bleeding (acquired von Willebrand syndrome). Adverse events may also be further reduced if smaller pumps, for partial hemodynamic support, can be placed with less invasive approaches (including devices deployable by percutaneous techniques). This can also be advantageous from a power consumption standpoint, and improvements are needed in high energy-density batteries and non-contact charging mechanisms.

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Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

It would improve quality of life for VAD recipients by reducing or eliminating their need to lifelong anticoagulant medication.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

There have been steady incremental improvements in all the challenge areas, and there are already many patients who do not encounter problems. A convergence and focusing of research efforts is needed.

Use of modern ventricular assist devices (VADs) has been associated with improvements in survival. However, INTERMACS has revealed that many of the adverse events associated with VADs stem from bio-incompatibilities between the device and patient.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Idea No. 349