LVAD therapy has radically improved congestive heart failure survival by employing smaller, rotary pumps that demonstrated improved reliability and lower morbidity over their larger, pulsatile predecessors. Percutaneous drivelines lead to infections and increase morbidity due to re-hospitalizations. The initial enthusiasm over earlier Transcutaneous Energy Transfer Systems (TETS) based technologies rapidly waned due to limited reliability and efficiency of power delivery even over a few millimeters and problems with alignment. The Free-range Resonant Electrical Energy Delivery (FREE-D) uses magnetically coupled resonators to efficiently transfer wireless power from a vest worn by the patient to a LVAD implanted in their body. We have put together a strong collaboration to demonstrate the feasibility of the FREE-D system. We have demonstrated in the lab that the system works equally well with axial pumps and magnetically levitated systems with no power failure and uninterrupted performance over a period of weeks. The system is robust under differing power requirements and is stable at increasing distances. Additionally, angular misalignment does not have adverse effects on system efficiency or performance. The current grant application is the first step toward realizing our vision of a wirelessly powered LVAD system. We sincerely believe that we will be able to develop a robust platform for a wireless power delivery based on our prior work. Such a power delivery system will offer innumerable advantages to our patient population including lowered morbidity, better quality of life, and improved long-term survival.

Public Health Relevance

We envision a wirelessly powered left ventricular assist device (LVAD) affording unrestricted patient mobility. Free-range Resonant Electrical Energy Delivery (FREE-D) uses coupled resonators to efficiently transfer wireless power from a vest worn by the patient to an LVAD device without direct contact. Bringing this technology from bench to bedside will reduce patient morbidity and improve the quality of life associated with LVAD use.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Bioengineering, Technology and Surgical Sciences Study Section (BTSS)
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Baldwin, Tim
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Yale University
Schools of Medicine
New Haven
United States
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Wang, Jake X; Smith, Joshua R; Bonde, Pramod (2014) Energy transmission and power sources for mechanical circulatory support devices to achieve total implantability. Ann Thorac Surg 97:1467-74