Cardiovascular Surgery Research

A Research Department at THI

The Cardiovascular Surgery Research (CVSR) Laboratories were established in 1972 to advance the understanding and treatment of cardiovascular disease. The uniquely qualified staff of physicians and researchers have unequaled clinical experience and have collaborated with government agencies and biomedical companies over the course of its 46-year history to conceive, design, test and apply new treatments, techniques and devices to improve patient care.

Researchers in these laboratories have extensive experience in mechanical circulatory support devices. In fact, this Texas Heart Institute research department has been involved in the development of nearly every device in use today, including mechanical assist devices, ventricular assist devices (VAD), left ventricular assist devices (LVAD), total artificial hearts (TAH) and simple heart pumps.

The CVSR labs encompass a 20,000 square-foot facility with the capability to support a wide variety of experiments. The laboratories are well-suited for device implantation, operative and postoperative care and the evaluation of device performance. The labs also have specialized equipment and procedural capabilities, including engineering/in vitro testing laboratories, cinefluoroscopy, cardiopulmonary bypass/perfusion systems, echocardiography/acoustic analysis, laser systems, digital-scanning electron microscopes and an IBAS image-analysis system.

Researchers in the labs conduct original research as well as collaborate with medical device companies and agencies around the world in the design, development and testing of:

  • Artificial hearts
  • Circulatory/ventricular assist systems
  • Site specific heart valves (mechanical and bioprosthetic)
  • Vascular grafts
  • Lasers
  • Myocardial revascularization techniques
  • Catheter systems
  • Pacemakers and pacing leads
  • Cardiopulmonary bypass components
  • Stents and occlusion devices
  • Echocardiography
  • Intravascular ultrasound
  • Autotransfusion systems
  • Biocompatibility and hemocompatibility of prosthetic surfaces
  • Hemolysis in prosthetic devices
  • Cell seeding/tissue engineering


The CVSR department is co-directed by the world-renowned physician-scientist Dr.  O.H. “Bud” Frazier and one of the team’s newer members, Dr. Luiz C. Sampaio.

Together with their team they are ushering in the next wave of discoveries in medical device technology.