P10023: VAD Implantation Simulator


Project Summary Project Information

As ventricular assist devices grow in popularity, the training of surgeons for this relatively new procedure is becoming important. The surgical implantation of a left ventricular assist device requires, among other things, the cannulation (cutting a hole) in the left ventricle for connection of the inlet tube of the pump, and proper placement of this cannula within the ventricle. The current practice for training for the implantation of an LVAD is to perform this cannulation on non-pressurized pig hearts sitting in a metal tray and then on a very limited number of live animals. The flaccid nature of the heart is not realistic. Our collaborators at Strong regularly run sessions to train residents and surgeons on this procedure and have been developing more realistic simulators of this procedure. The proposed MSD project would be to create a device that houses a pig heart in an environment that presents the practicing surgeon with something a little more realistic than an open tin, possibly including features such as: use of rib spreaders that limit access to the site, a simulated diaphragm to further simulate the confined space they have to work with, a fake "sternum" that could be cut with a saw, controlled pressure applied to the pig heart and possibility of a "beating" heart.

Project Name
VAD Implantation Simulator
Project Number
Project Family
Biomedical Device Development
Assistive Devices and Bioengineering
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Dr. Day
Faculty Consultant
Dr. Lux
Primary Customer
Surgeon: H. Todd Massey;
Clinical Coordinator: Bill Hallinan
Secondary Customer
Cory King (Thoratec)

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