Worldheart corporation in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University have invented a miniature artificial heart that works on the same technology that powers super fast maglev trains.
The same magnetic levitation that keeps a maglev train afloat is used to suspend the rotor (the moving part of the motor) within the stator (the stationary part of the motor) of a super-efficient blood pump.
The gap between the rotor and the stator is kept sufficiently large to avoid the rotor from touching the stator and cause friction. This also leads to a larger gap for blood to flow.
Another feature of this maglev blood pump is that any undesirable mechanical resonances occur at lower speeds of the motor. In other words, the motor can be advantageously operated at very high speeds without the possibility of disruptive vibrations.
As a result, the overall size of this artificial heart can be made very small, making it suitable particularly for infants.
Publication number: US 20160184499
Patent Title: Magnetically-Levitated Blood Pump With Optimization Method Enabling Miniaturization
Publication date: Jun 30, 2016
Filing date: Mar 9, 2016
Inventors: Michael R. Ricci; James F. Antaki; Josiah E. Verkaik; David B. Paden; Shaun T. Snyder; Bradley E. Paden; Jingchun WU;
Original Assignee: Worldheart Corporation