CorWave has reported promising early results for its left ventricle assist device (LVAD) system, which has the features of pulsatility and a blood speed close to the physiological pace and can be implanted with minimally invasive surgery. The results were presented at 10th European Mechanical Circulatory Support meeting (EUMS; 2–5 December, Paris, France).
The results were presented in a poster session at EUMS and during a session dedicated to innovative technologies, and showed that the pump will be able to fully support a patient in pulsatile mode based on the high hydraulic power generated by the pump and its ability to instantly change flow rate. The CorWave physiologic pulsatile function has been proven to be successful in in vitro and in vivo environments.
Mechanical pumps can significantly extend the life of late-stage heart failure patients. However, patients implanted with current devices experience significant adverse effects such as strokes, haemorrhages, clots or gastrointestinal bleeding, resulting in re-admission to hospital and reduced quality of life. The CorWave technology aims to reduce these adverse events, significantly improving the patient’s quality of life and cutting the overall cost of treatment.
Using a completely novel approach, CorWave has developed a system based on a wave membrane. The undulating polymer membrane gently pushes the blood on both sides of a membrane, from the outer edge to the inner orifice, where it exits the pump. The instantaneous change in output of the CorWave pump produces a pulsatile flow that mimics the action of the heart. Despite its small size, the CorWave device can pump 4 to 10L/min and therefore totally replace heart function. The blood velocity induced by the pump (1.5m/sec) is similar to the blood velocity of a healthy heart and much lower than the ones observed in rotary pumps (4-10 m/sec).
Carl Botterbusch, CTO of CorWave, says: “We believe the gentle movement of the membrane will allow for less alteration of the blood, leading to fewer complications.We are working on another version of the pump based on a tubular shaped membrane which will combine minimally invasive surgery and physiologic pumping.”