The development of long term cardiac assist devices is currently limited by the lack of an appropriate totally implantable power source. Transformed fatigue resistant skeletal muscle has been proposed as such a power source. The goal of this study was to determine the optimal latissimus dorsi muscle (LDM) configuration capable of obtaining maximum power output. Four separate in situ configurations were prepared: a latex compliance chamber placed between the LDM and chest wall (Sub-Dorsi), a chamber wrapped in a skeletal muscle ventricle (Circular), linear measurements from the thora-columbar origin (Linear Origin), and linear measurements from the humeral insertion (Linear Insertion). A device was designed to measure the power output from each configuration in watts per kilogram of muscle. Eight LDMs were acutely studied at varying levels of pre-load. Performance characteristics were measured in each configuration. Peak power outputs were as follows: Sub-Dorsi: 8.3 ± 1.6 W/kg at 50 cc or 11.6 N pre-load; Circular: 16.4 ± 6.2 W/kg at 50 cc or 16.9 N; Linear Origin: 47.1 ± 4.4 W/kg at 23.4 N; and Linear Insertion generated 59.9 ± 12.1 W/kg at 26 N. Analysis of variance comparison revealed a significance of p < 0.0001. A linear oriented LDM is capable of generating maximal power output. Confirmation of these findings in transformed, conformed, fatigue resistant muscle will provide important performance information essential for the optimal design of implantable muscle powered ventricular assist systems.
© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.