Lightweight Power Source for Heart Assist Devices

Period of Performance: 09/22/2004 - 07/20/2005


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long term objective is to enable greater mobility and quality of life for patients who require ventricular assist devices. The approach is to develop direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) technology that will provide power for much longer periods at a fraction the weight of batteries. DMFC technology promises an order of magnitude reduction in the weight of the power source, which would enable a much greater quality of life for heart assist device (HAD) patients. The specific aims of Phase I are to develop stack technology that is very lightweight and advanced membrane/electrode assemblies (MEAs) that provide efficient and reliable long-term operation. The Phase I research plan calls for design and fabrication of stack components, development and testing of new catalyst formulations and MEA fabrication approaches, and integration of the MEAs with the stack components to demonstrate the performance of a complete fuel cell stack. Finally, data from Phase I testing will be used as the basis for the design of a complete power system, demonstrating the potential for very high energy density. The potential for technological innovation is high, because the program focuses on the key challenges that will enable more widespread use of DMFC technology.