A Transutaneous Power System for Rotary Blood Pumps

Period of Performance: 09/01/2000 - 08/31/2001


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Whalen Biomedical, Inc.
Somerville, MA 02143
Principal Investigator


For heart assist devices, running power lines from an external power source to the implanted blood pump produces a chronic wound at the site of skin penetration that presents a significant risk of serious infection. Transcutaneous energy transmission (TET) systems eliminate this risk by using magnetic fields to couple energy through intact skin. The long term objectives of this program are to 1) develop a Transcutaneous Energy Transmission (TET) system that better addresses the "needs and intended uses" of the emerging generation of rotary assist pumps, and 2) supply high quality transcutaneous energy transmission (TET) systems to the developers of these systems. In SBIR phase I, the feasibility of an innovative configuration for a TET system was established. This TET system features fewer components, higher projected reliability and greatly simplified interface requirements. The work proposed for SBIR phase II, seeks to carry the WBI TET system to the threshold of commercialization by completing the design process, developing means for manufacturing the system in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices, and providing test results capable of supporting the claim of "safety and effectiveness." PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: Both the NHLBI and private industry are supporting the development of rotary blood pumps to address the needs of an estimated 30-40,000 patients annually who might benefit from permanent mechanical circulatory support. The proposed device is applicable to virtually all of these systems.