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Children's Hospital leads projects to develop nation's first heart assist devices for young children
Date:4/3/2008

n the laboratory and hopes to begin the clinical trial in the coming year. The device, known as the PediVAS (ventricular assist system), would be an external pump designed to support pediatric patients in heart failure for days to four weeks.

Dr. Wearden also is spearheading efforts to develop the first totally implantable pediatric VAD in the United States that could be used for longer periods of time than the external pump.

In the development of an implantable pediatric VAD known as PediaFlow, Childrens team is partnering with two pioneers in cardiac support, Harvey S. Borovetz, PhD, deputy director, Artificial Organs and Medical Devices, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and chair, Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh; and James Antaki, professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University.

Industry partners in the consortium include Launch Point Technologies (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and WorldHeart Corporation (Salt Lake City).

This project, also funded by the NIH (one of only five centers in the nation to receive NIH funding for such a project), has progressed through an intensive engineering design phase to successful testing in the laboratory. The consortium is entering the final year of the five-year NIH contract to develop the PediaFlow.

Our dream for the PediaFlow which is about the size of a walnut is that it could be totally implanted into a child to support his or her heart until a donor could be located or until the heart function recovers, Dr. Wearden said. The PediaFlow would be magnetically powered and potentially could support a child for as long as six months.

Under the leadership of Victor Morell, MD, chief of Childrens Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Childrens Heart Center has established itself as one of the most active and innovative centers in the care of children in heart failure in the country over the last two decades. Childrens ha
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Contact: Marc Lukasiak
marc.lukasiak@chp.edu
412-692-7919
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

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