Novel Magnetic-Driven Blood Pump for those awaiting Heart Transplant


Available for Licensing

IP Status

US Utility Patent Pending (Not Yet Published)


David Bark
Jianguo Zhao
Alireza Sharifi

At A Glance

​With recent breakthroughs in soft robotics (e.g., biomimetic motions, self-healing, reduced power consumption, and  silent  operation),  it  is  time  to  reengineer  traditional pulsatile and continuous flow LVADs that are superior by reducing the risks for bleeding, hemolysis, thrombosis, and driveline infection.  Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a wirelessly driven blood pump by application of a magnetic field, utilizing a flexible (polymeric) design to generate rapid and programmable actuation of a durable polymer.  The novel design reduces shear stress to near physiological levels (<150 dynes/cm2), thus, reducing bleeding and thrombosis risk.  Additionally, the small profile, quieter mechanism, and greater durability can improve the quality of life for many patients who use LVADs or other MCS devices. 

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Licensing Director

Tech Mgr: TBD

Reference No.: 2020-071


​Due to lack of heart donors, mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices are used to treat heart failure, affecting 23 million people worldwide.  Left ventricular assist devices (LVAD)s, a subcategory of MCS, serve as a long-term therapy for these patients. Current generation LVADs pump blood from the left ventricle or atrium through an outflow graft leading to the aorta using a high-speed mechanical impeller or propeller, with power coming from a driveline connected through the skin of a patient.  Despite substantial improvements in LVADs (especially durability), a larger application of the technology has been limited due to clinically significant adverse events, e.g., infection caused by the driveline, bleeding caused by non-physiological hemodynamics (blood flow), and thrombosis caused by blood-material interactions and non-physiological  hemodynamics.  To reduce adverse events, there is a need to drastically reengineer LVADs. 

The high-speed mechanical impeller or propeller in current continuous flow LVADs (centrifugal or axial) generates a high shear stress that can exceed 1000 dynes/cm2, much larger than physiological values (<120 dynes/cm2). High shear stress can lead to platelet activation and hemolysis, promoting thrombosis (blood clotting).  To prevent thrombosis, patients receive anticoagulant and antiplatelet therapies that must be finely balanced to avoid increased bleeding risk. In addition to drug-induced bleeding, bleeding risk is also attributed to the continuous flow associated with the high-speed impellers and propellers, as we and others have shown. For this reason, current continuous flow devices are offering a pulsing option. Note that earlier generation pulsatile LVADs lost favor due to durability limitations associated with multiple moving parts, e.g., pusher plates and actuating bearings. To reduce or eliminate bleeding and thrombosis, the ideal solution would be to create a durable pulsatile LVAD with shear stress and flow similar to physiological values.

  • Design integrates polymeric prosthetic heart valves which exhibit physiological shear stress and have greater durability than bioprosthetic valves
  • Smaller profile
  • Reduces bleeding and thrombosis risk
  • Eliminates risk of driveline infection
  • Utilization of innovative surface treatment
  • Mechanical circulatory support device (e.g. ventricular assist)

Last updated: June 2020

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