Louisville, Ky. Researchers in the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, a partnership between the University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital, in collaboration with researchers at Indiana University and Purdue University, have received a $2,027,059 grant from the National Institutes of Health to further develop an implantable pump that could dramatically improve the lives of patients with single ventricle heart disease. Single ventricle heart disease is a congenital condition in which one chamber of the heart is either missing or underdeveloped, causing an overwhelming burden on the remaining chamber to pump blood effectively.
The project is led by UofL biomedical engineer Guruprasad Giridharan, PhD, Indiana University pediatric surgeon Mark Rodefeld, MD, and Purdue University mechanical engineer Steve Frankel, PhD. It represents a collaboration between biomedical engineers in the Department of Bioengineering at UofL, who are based at the CII, and UofL's Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
"Single ventricle heart disease is the leading cause of death from any birth defect in the first year of life," said Giridharan, who is UofL's principal investigator. "The children usually require three major surgeries in the first few years of life to re-route blood flow, and lighten the workload of the single ventricle, which pumps blood both to the body and lungs."
The implantable pump is designed to deliver blood to the lungs and assist the single ventricle, improving the child's circulatory status, Giridharan said.
"We have created pump prototypes of this novel and simple assist device," Giridharan said. "The funding from the NIH will enable improvement of the prototypes that will hopefully take it that much closer to implantation in humans."
This work has the potential to, at minimum, provide a crutch for patients who are undergoing the current treatment for this condition.
"This device has the pote
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University of Louisville