The objective of this proposal is to complete development of a long-term, universal Apical Access System (AAS) to improve clinical outcomes and expand the role of left ventricular assist device (LVAD) therapy. The treatment of end stage heart failure (HF) is the greatest challenge, both clinically and economically to the U.S. health care system today. With >800,000 people suffering with end stage HF and only 2,300 heart transplants and 4,600 LVADs implanted annually there is large a population underserved. LVAD implantation requires a major operative procedure with significant peri- and post-operative bleeding complications, mortality, and treatment costs. APK Advanced Medical Technologies, Inc. AAS System will allow current LVADs and future "Mini-VADs" to be implanted suture-less through a minimally invasive incision without placing the patient on cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). By eliminating CPB, reducing access time and reducing bleeding, a significant and measurable impact on patient health and procedural cost will be achieved. The different components of the AAS System have been tested previously on the bench, in FEA computational models, and through acute and chronic (up to 12 weeks) animal experiments with positive results.
The specific aims of the current proposal are: Phase I-Aim 1: Complete fabrication of the integrated components for the re-designed AAS System and demonstrate feasibility for LVAD therapy in acute bovine model (n=2) and human cadaver (n=2). Phase II-Aim 1: Complete the engineering development and design freeze of the LVAD AAS in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) specifications for a human implant quality system.
Aim 2 : Demonstrate safety and efficacy of the AAS System by completing risk analysis driven validation and verification testing. Testing to include: 600 Millio cycle fatigue, leakage/burst testing in pressurized hearts, Finite element analysis of anchoring components, sterilization validation and biocompatibility, anatomical fit and surgical procedure study (human cadaver, n=8), and in vivo acute (n=6), 14-day (n=6), and 30-day (n=6) in a chronic bovine model with HM II (Thoratec) and HVAD (HeartWare) devices. Successful outcomes will be quantified by metrics to include;incision size, ease of use, implantation time, blood loss, durability (fatigue on clinical-grade components), need for CPB, conformance to biocompatibility and sterilization ISO standards, and secure connection without air entrainment or leakage.
Aim 3 : Demonstrate long-term safety and reliability of the LVAD AAS in 30-day pre-GLP (n=2) and GLP (n=4) chronic bovine model study to support an IDE application for a clinical trial in patients with advanced heart failure receiving LVAD implantation only. The successful execution of this SBIR project will lead to development of a new clinical paradigm in the treatment of HF. Specifically the AAS will reduce surgical complexity and make LVAD therapy affordable leading to improved patient outcomes and quality of life. Ultimately, clinical acceptance to treat earlier stage HF patients and expansion into global markets can be achieved.

Public Health Relevance

APK Advanced Medical Technologies, Inc. Apical Access System (AAS) with universal connector enables a suture-less surgical implantation of left ventricular assist device (LVAD) on the beating heart via a minimally invasive approach, which represents a new clinical paradigm in the treatment of heart failure (HF) with LVAD therapy. The AAS approach will reduce blood loss, procedure time, patient morbidity and mortality, and cost of care that will lead to clinical acceptance in earlier stage HF patients and widespread use in global markets.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-V (12))
Program Officer
Baldwin, Tim
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Apk Advanced Medical Technologies, Inc.
United States
Zip Code