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Press Release:

Leading Expert in Hemodynamics Aims to Use New Emulator Technology to Eliminate Blood Clotting in Cardiovascular Devices

Dr. Danny Bluestein Submits Phase II Proposal for NIBIB Quantum Grant

TUCSON, Ariz. – Feb. 9, 2010 – On Jan. 22, Danny Bluestein, PhD, Professor of Bioengineering at the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook, in collaboration with Marvin J. Slepian, M.D., Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the University of Arizona, submitted a Phase II Quantum Grant proposal to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).

“During Phase I of this project, we developed and tested the Device Thrombogenicity Emulator (DTE),” said Dr. Bluestein. “The DTE measures the potential for blood clotting in cardiovascular devices by mimicking the conditions in the device as extracted from advanced numerical simulations. Conceptually, it is analogous to a wind tunnel used for aeronautic and automotive testing.

“The ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for anticoagulation. During Phase II, we plan to use the DTE to identify ‘hot spot’ trajectories in the flow fields of cardiovascular devices where clots can form. The DTE methodology enables us to tweak the geometry of the device in order to achieve design optimization aimed at minimizing and eliminating these hot spots.”

If the proposal is awarded the grant, Dr. Bluestein plans to use the DTE to test and optimize the designs of prosthetic heart valves, left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), biventricular assist devices (BiVADs) and the SynCardia temporary CardioWest™ Total Artificial Heart. Dr. Bluestein closely collaborates with SynCardia Systems, Inc., and with other device manufacturers who are partners in the proposal.

“Ultimately, we envision that our methodology has the potential for advancing testing for cardiovascular devices that may be of use to the industry and the FDA,” said Dr. Slepian.

According to the NIBIB website, the Quantum Grants Program was established to make a profound (quantum) improvement in health care. This program challenged the research community to propose projects that have a highly focused, collaborative, and interdisciplinary approach targeted to solve a major medical problem or to resolve a highly prevalent technology-based medical challenge.

The Device Thrombogenicity Emulator measures the potential for blood clotting in cardiovascular devices by mimicking the conditions in the device as extracted from advanced numerical simulations.


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About SynCardia Systems, LLC
SynCardia Systems, LLC in Tucson, Ariz., is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. For people suffering from end-stage heart failure affecting both sides of the heart (biventricular failure), the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart is used as a bridge to transplant, helping them survive until a matching donor heart becomes available. SynCardia also manufactures the Freedom® portable driver, which powers the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart and allows clinically stable patients to be discharged from the hospital to enjoy life at home while they wait for a heart transplant.

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SynCardia Contact:
Janelle Drumwright, jdrumwright@syncardia.com, (520) 547-7463

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