The total artificial heart under development by the Pennsylvania State University and 3M Health Care has undergone a number of design improvements to improve reliability, manufacturability, implantability, and performance. These improvements are nearing completion in preparation for formal durability testing. The redesigned implanted electronics canister, consisting of a welded titanium shell with hermetic connectors, contains the control, telemetry, and energy transmission electronics, as well as a 9 cell, 800 mAhr Ni-Cd battery pack. Functional changes include a reduction in the battery recharge time from 14 hours to 4 hours, and a new inductive telemetry system. The energy transmission system operating frequency has been increased from 160 kHz to 200 kHz. Electromagnetic interference filters and a more efficient control mode have also been implemented. The energy converter has been modified to incorporate a new motor with integral Hall effect position sensors, and new cable, and compliance chamber conduit fittings. High flex life cable is now used for the motor and coil cables. Two prototype durability mock circulatory loops have been built and are being tested. Substantial progress has been made in the completion of manufacturing documentation, and in the implementation of a quality system.
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