A totally implantable centrifugal artificial heart has been developed using a miniaturized pivot bearing supported centrifugal pump (Gyro PI pump). The authors report current progress in its development. The Gyro PI-601 has a priming volume of 20 ml, weighs 100 g, has a height of 60 mm, and has a diameter of 65 mm. This pump can provide 8 L/min against 150 mmHg at 2,250 rpm. It is driven by an miniaturized DC brushless motor with the coils fixed in a plastic mold that is waterproof and made of titanium (weight, 204 g; height, 18 mm; diameter, 65 mm). In this centrifugal artificial heart, two Gyro PI pumps are implanted independently to replace cardiac function without resecting the native heart. Its anatomic and surgical feasibility were confirmed experimentally. The Gyro PI-601 was implanted as a right or left ventricular assist device in the preperitoneal space of five calves. All five tests proceeded without any thromboembolic symptoms. One of five tests was extended more than 1 month to confirm the long-term feasibility of the Gyro PI-601 pump system. Based on the satisfactory results of the in vivo tests, the material conversion of the Gyro PI from polycarbonate to titanium alloy (Ti-6A1-4V) was undertaken to improve its biocompatibility for long-term implantation.
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