University of Utah scientists announced Tuesday that they will receive new financial blood - $2.85 million - to develop an electrically powered partial artificial heart.
Dr. Don B. Olsen, director of the U. Institute for Biomedical Engineering, said the U., Canadian government, Ottawa Heart Institute and a Canadian industrial partner (St. Jude) have formed a consortium to develop the heart.Utah scientists, under terms of a five-year contract, will design, construct and clinically test a totally implantable, electric ventricular assist device, called EVAD.
Olsen, professor of surgery, said the contract brings the institute's funding for artificial heart development to $9.9 million - including more than $5.5 awarded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in the National Institutes of Health and other grants and contracts in the Institute for Biomedical Engineering.
The grant, Olsen said, should be welcome news to patients whose heart has been permanently damaged by coronary artery disease, valve disease or viral infection. Currently, treatment options include human heart transplant, artificial heart implant - or death.
Much of the technology and development of the Utah 100 total artificial heart will be transferred directly to the totally implantable EVAD, Olsen said. The U. has granted an exclusive license on the EVAD to Canada, retaining ownership on the use of the total artificial heart.
Olsen's research team will guide the device's testing in animals in Canada and will train Canada's surgeons at the Salt Lake City institute.