Blood Pump and Energy Convertor

This blood pump/drive unit is the original version of the Novacor Left Ventricular Assist (LVAS). It is the world's first clinically implanted electromechanical Ventricular Assist Device (VAD). While some researchers worked on developing a total artificial heart as a bridge to transplant several groups of scientists and engineers worked on developing the smaller heart assist device. In select cases the LVAD can be used as a long term recovery solution (destination therapy) to chronic heart failure. Groups working on both the artificial heart and VAD's encountered many of the same problems, particularly material compatibility to avoid blood clotting. In 1998, the Novacor LVAS was given FDA approval as a bridge to transplant.
A Ventricualr Assist Device (VAD) is a mechanical pump used to partially or completely replace a diseased human heart. Unlike a Total Artificial Heart, the patient’s human heart is left in place. The VAD assists the ventricles push blood through the body.
Currently not on view
Object Name
blood pump and energy convertor
date made
ca 1984
Novacor Medical Corporation
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
steel (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
overall: 2 5/8 in x 12 1/2 in x 13 in; 6.6675 cm x 31.75 cm x 33.02 cm
overall: 16.5 cm x 13.7 cm x 6 cm; 6 1/2 in x 5 13/32 in x 2 3/8 in
place made
United States: California, Berkeley
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
patent number
Health & Medicine
Artificial Organs
Artificial Hearts
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Artificial Hearts
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of World Heart Corporation

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