U-Shaped Mechanical Auxiliary Ventricle

Description (Brief)
The U-shaped left mechanical auxiliary ventricle (MAV), referred to today as a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD), was designed to augment the left ventricle, by reducing its work-load, helping to pump blood through the body. This U-shaped VAD was developed by Adrian Kantrowitz (1918-2008), and his colleagues in the early 1960’s in the surgical research laboratory at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. It was intended as a temporary partial or permanent circulatory support. The power supply was an external control unit. The earliest MAV’s were handmade. The bulb was Silicone rubber, and connected by Dacron arterial grafts.
Kantrowitz’s group first experimented on dogs in his laboratory. The earliest MAC’s resembled a large egg or bulb. Two grafts were attached to each end. The group implanted the MAV in different sites along the aorta; the abdominal aorta, the thoracic aorta, in the aortic arch and end-to-side in the ascending and descending aorta. The museum has several examples of this first assist device from an earlier Kantrowitz donation. See accession 290303, catalogue numbers MG*M-12971 through MG*M-12974. The group went on to develop the U-shaped assist device, which was suggested by Dr. Tetutsu Akutsu.
Currently not on view
date made
about 1966
Kantrowitz, Adrian
place made
United States: Michigan, Detroit
overall: 51 cm x 10.5 cm x 6 cm; 20 3/32 in x 4 1/8 in x 2 3/8 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Jean Kantrowitz
Artificial Organs
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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