The ABIOMED implantable total artificial heart is in the final phase of engineering development. The system has a compact electrohydraulically driven energy converter sandwiched between two blood pumps, an internal electronics pack, an internal battery, a transcutaneous energy transmission coil for power transmission, and external wearable electronics pack and battery. The current effort is to complete development of the system during 1996 in preparation for formal pre clinical testing of the device. In vivo studies with the current thoracic unit (ABH II) have achieved 108 days of survival verifying the thermal, physiologic, and hematologic compatibility of the system. The abdominal implantable electronics pack showed no thermal dissipation problem. System improvements include scaling down the size of the thoracic unit, and efficiency enhancement in the power and hybrid electronics. The new system (ABH III) retains the flow capacity of greater than 10 L/min. Size reduction results in an atrial to sternal dimension that would fit 98% and 75% of men and women, respectively.
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