Early on during the development of what became ReliantHeart and the world’s first, and still smallest, full support Axial Flow VAD, the legendary Dr. Michael DeBakey directed the engineering team to design a pump that could drain a swimming pool full of water balloons without breaking a single balloon.
The difference between the HeartAssist5® and the previous generation is too small for most to see. However, in redesigning the HeartAssist5®’s inducer/impeller, its only moving part, a difference measured in degrees has had a major impact on its blood-handling characteristics.
Careful study of computational fluid dynamics and proprietary testing systems has allowed ReliantHeart to refine its powerful NASA technology motor. Now, the inducer/impeller, working with the flow straightener and diffuser, draws blood more smoothly through the LVAD with the intended result of less damage to the blood’s fragile components, including less platelet activation.
Sophisticated numerical simulations were conducted comparing the platelet activity between two LVAD designs (DeBakey VAD® versus HeartAssist5® VAD). The overall results of this analysis reflect the most significant design improvement ever measured by Stony Brook University, strongly indicating that recipients of the optimized VAD may require less anticoagulation.
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