McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
faculty member Peter Wearden, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), is the principal investigator of the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) subcontract on the National Institute of Health (NIH) award issued to Levitronix to perform both preclinical and clinical assessment of a pediatric ventricular assist device (VAD) called the UltraMag pediatric VAD (pictured). Other McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine collaborators include faculty member Harvey Borovetz, PhD, Deputy Director William Wagner, PhD, and faculty member Marina Kameneva, PhD. The team recently received year 3 funding on this work.
The objective of this research plan is to transition the development of the UltraMag ventricular assist system (VAS), which is designed to support neonates and small children, from the preclinical to the clinical trial phase. The work will culminate in a single center, prospective, nonrandomized, open-label, clinical trial. The 2001 report of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-sponsored Task Force on Research in Pediatric Cardiovascular Disease identified the pressing need for novel systems to support children with severely compromised cardiac disorders. The pediatric VAD under development by Levitronix and its development partners, the Texas Heart Institute and Pitt, is intended to fulfill the need for acute to chronic mechanical circulatory life support for up to 6 months in infants and small children. The goal will be to create a viable clinical product for infants and small children, based on the core magnetically levitated technology developed by Levitronix.
Levitronix utilizes state of the art technology to produce a new generation of blood pumps that provide hemodynamic support with minimal blood trauma. Unlike conventional devices, the Levitronix blood pumps do not contain seals or bearings which are components known to cause hemolysis and promote thrombus formation. Similarly, the Levitronix blood pumps do not contain diaphragms or valves which may fail thereby limiting the potential duration of use. By eliminating the bearings and avoiding flexing components, the Levitronix blood pumping systems are designed for longer life and reliability.
Bio: Dr. Peter Wearden
Bio: Dr. Harvey Borovetz
Bio: Dr. William Wagner
Bio: Dr. Marina Kameneva