Current Projects

Current Projects

Pediatric LVAD

The IDEA lab’s main project is developing a pediatric LVAD that uses a magnetic levitation system and that is sized for neonates and children with heart failure. The goal is to develop the first fully implantable VAD (called the NeoVAD) for infants and young children, to help the failing heart in these patients until a suitable donor heart is available. In addition to being fully implantable, the NeoVAD offers the potential of adjustability as the child grows; ideally, the device should provide increasing degrees of blood flow and pressure as the child grows and develops; this adaptability would eliminate the need for repeated procedures to change the VAD or implant increasingly larger donor hearts. This project is currently supported by a 4-year NIH R01 Grant award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute with over $2,860,000 in research funding.

Texas Heart Institute Receives National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant to Develop the First Fully Implantable Heart Pump for Infants and Children
WomenHeart Houston Support Group

MicroVasc Intra-Atrial Blood Pump

The IDEA Lab is developing is an intra-atrial blood pump, the MicroVasc, which is designed to be placed in the atrial septum to reduce the left ventricle’s workload. The proposed MicroVasc device may not only slow the progression of heart failure but could actually restore the compromised left ventricle’s function (termed myocardial reconditioning). Key features of the MicroVasc LVAD include its extremely small size, potential for minimally invasive delivery through a catheter puncture into a large vein, ability to maintain normal heart pulsatility, durability in patients who require long-term support, and removability in patients whose cardiac function has been restored. This project is supported by an R56 Grant award from NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which is providing $600,000 in research funding over a 2-year period.

Doctors and Engineers Aim to Build a Device to Prevent the Need for a Transplant