Skeletal Muscle Engergy Convertor for Cardiac Assistance

Period of Performance: 03/01/1998 - 02/28/1999


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Thoratec Laboratories Corporation
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (Adapted from applicant's abstract): There is an unfulfilled need for alternatives to cardiac transplantation. Implantable electromechanical circulatory support devices show some promise, but are complex systems that require batteries and frequent recharging. The complexity of these systems might be reduced and the battery transport and charging problems eliminated by a suitable means of harnessing skeletal muscle power, such as the patented approach (US Patent #5,344,385) described in this grant. The objective of this project is to continue development of a biomechanically optimized energy converter for powering cardiac assist devices with a linear contracting muscle geometry. Such linear systems can provide up to ten times the power of muscle wrap procedures. In our innovative system, the insertion of the latissimus dorsi muscle, or other suitable muscle, is reattached to a small piston, which during muscle stimulation, can provide hydraulic power to a variety of cardiac assist blood pumps. The technical merit of this project will be further demonstrated in Phase II by collaborative work on the design of the continued development of the skeletal muscle energy converter, and determining hydraulic power and efficiency in vivo. This technology not only has significant commercial potential, but also offers an alternative to cardiac transplantation with a high quality of life. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: NOT AVAILABLE