Driveline-Free Energy System for Ventricular Assist Devices


Extended Title: Development of a Driveline-Free Energy System for Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs): An Untethered Patient-Centred Approach.

Heart failure (HF) affects approximately 40 million people globally leading to reduced quality of life and increased rate of mortality. Heart transplant (HT) is an established therapy for patients with end-stage HF, however, in 2019, 119 transplantations were performed in Australia with the remaining 80 patients on the waiting list. Ventricular assist devices (VADs) provide mechanical circulatory support and are developed as an alternative to heart transplantation or bridge to transplant. Limitations in performing daily activities due to the wearable components of the device such as batteries and controller as well as high risk of infection through the device driveline are two main drawbacks of current VAD systems, which decrease the quality of life of patients and increase morbidity rate. This project aims to develop a novel energy supply system by focusing on two main objectives: 1. Development of a driveline-free and infection-less energy system and 2. Internal battery-based VAD system. Studies state 8–12 hours of freedom from the external VAD equipment help patients recover faster. The ultimate goal is to develop a new generation of patient-centric VAD systems with remarkable amelioration in the perceived social acceptability among patients.


The outcome of this project is an optimal driveline-free energy system prototype as a proof of concept, which provides a long duration of freedom for the patients to show the feasibility of implementation of this system for VAD applications. Furthermore, the proposed system would address some of the current practical challenges associated with battery charging and monitoring within in vitro evaluation, which will be carried out using experimental tests in both, related software and hardware simulators such as the Mock Circulatory Loop (MCL). Additionally, it is expected that the developed prototype will address key issues of patients such as re-hospitalization, driveline infection, the requirement not to immerse in water for bathing or swimming. The ultimate goal of this research is to enhance the quality of life and survival rate of the patients.


Amount: AUD$90,000

Duration: 3 years

Partners: The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane