WorldHeart's Minimally Invasive VAD (MiFlow™ VAD) is designed to provide up to 6 liters of blood flow per minute, and is aimed at providing partial to full circulatory support in both early-stage and late-stage heart failure patients.
The MiFlow™ VAD has a fully magnetically levitated rotor with optimized blood path (wide clearances and, consequently, reduced shear rates). WorldHeart believes that the biocompatibility benefits of magnetic levitation, namely preservation of the von Willebrand factor, will be seen with the MiFlow™ VAD. MiFlow™ VAD's small size, slightly larger than a AA-battery, should allow non-sternotomy placement using less-invasive surgery techniques, which would result in faster recovery and a shorter hospital stay. The entire MiFlow™ VAD fits within the inflow cannula, minimizing blood contacting surface area and facilitating optimal device placement and orientation.
WorldHeart is currently developing a MiFlow™ VAD prototype and expects to begin conducting animal studies with the MiFlow™ VAD by mid-2012 and human clinical trials in Europe by 2013, contigent on the Company's ability to obtain future financing and to complete all regulatory requirements. In addition, WorldHeart is exploring various strategic options to accelerate the development of the MiFlow™ VAD.
The figure at right depicts the anticipated placement of the AA battery-sized MiFlow™ VAD. The MiFlow™ VAD will be placed within the left ventricle. The device as shown is expected to draw blood from the left ventricle and pump it into the descending aorta.
WorldHeart's MiFlow™ VAD is not currently available for sale or investigational use.