RedHerring.com is reporting that West Henrietta, New York-based Myotech Cardiovascular has received a promise from U.S. government to receive over $1.4 million in capital infusion to develop a “heart pump, which would let surgeons restore blood flow temporarily while a patient awaits a transplant or other long-term solution.”
Here’s how the company describes its technology:
The MYO-VAD™ consists of a small external drive unit and flexible polymer “cup” which can be installed around the heart in approximately 3 minutes.
Incorporating a pneumatically activated liner, the MYO-VAD operates by compressing and expanding bi-directionally, enabling the cup to provide full cardiac support capability; active systolic actuation (blood flow to the body’s organs) and active diastolic actuation (blood flow to the lungs) for both the left and right ventricles.
The exhausted heart’s structure is the pump; the MYO-VAD simply supplies the energy to allow it to “beat” again. A natural, pulsatile blood flow results. Since only the patient’s own heart tissue contacts their blood, this approach provides the potential to reduce bleeding, stroke, and infection, complications that plague current VADs, which are all mechanical pumps that contact blood.
A simple incision allows placement of the MYO-VAD in the chest without perforating the heart or great vessels. As a result, the MYO-VAD is easily removed as soon as the heart has recovered.
The combination of the MYO-VAD’s technically simple installation and removal procedure; anticipated lower complication rate and rapid patient recovery; and its much lower device cost provide a significant reduction in the total cost required to provide cardiac support.
Follow-on versions of the MYO-VAD, currently being developed, will provide additional diagnostic, therapeutic, and operational features, including full system implantability.