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058 Novel Technologies for Powering Ventricular Assist Devices

NHLBI SBIR/STTR Contract Topic

(Fast-Track proposals will be accepted.)

Number of anticipated awards: 4-5

Because the heart transplant donor pool in the United States is less than 2,500/year, ventricular assist devices (VADs) are the only realistic option for many late-stage heart failure patients. Currently, each year 2,000-5,000 receive VADs to bridge them to a heart transplant or as permanent (i.e. “destination”) therapy. However, the VADs currently available rely upon batteries that, despite recent advances, require frequent recharging, weigh on the order of pounds, and must be carried by the patient. Furthermore, the percutaneous cables used to connect the batteries and device controllers to the VADs provide a site for infection where the driveline crosses the skin. Consequently, the driveline site must be frequently cleaned to reduce the risk of infection.

Offerors will develop novel technologies for delivering power to VADs to successfully improve the quality of life and reduce the risk of infection associated with current methods for delivering power to VADs for chronic circulatory support. Examples of appropriate projects include (1) power and data transmission systems that do not require percutaneous drivelines and (2) innovative power sources which will reduce the size and weight of external batteries and the frequency of recharging them or, preferentially, eliminate external batteries altogether.

Phase I proposals should address initial development and feasibility testing of novel technologies for delivering power to VADs which can be applied to existing or new circulatory support devices. The technologies should have the potential to eliminate external batteries and/or percutaneous drivelines or make substantial improvements over existing power-related technologies for VADs so that the risk of infections is significantly reduced and the quality of life is improved. Preference will be given to proposals for technologies with the potential to eliminate external batteries and/or percutaneous drivelines.

Phase II proposals should be focused on completing the development of the technology such that it can be readily incorporated into circulatory support devices. The work is expected to include in vitro and in vivo studies to demonstrate effectiveness.

For more information, contact OTAC.

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Last Updated December 2011

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