Right side Ventricular Assist Device

This polyurethane right ventricular assist device (RVAD), is made by vacuum forming and assumes the pumping function of the right ventricle. It can also be used in conjunction with a left ventricular assist (LVAD) to form a total artificial heart. The flexible, multilayer diaphragm separates the blood and gas chambers of a circular ventricle and has a volume of 50 cc. A graphite coating acts as a lubricant between the diaphragm's layers. An air drive line tube emerges from the base of the pump sac with Dacron netting at the junction where clotting is likely to occur. Dacron's rough surface anchors and isolates blood clots to prevent embolization. The tube delivers compressed air to the gas chamber to actuate the pumping diaphragm. Dacron fibrils are at the junction between the diaphragm and blood chamber housing. Clots are more likely to form inside ventricles with rough intima. Dacron fibrils had been applied inside with thin pellethane and loose fibrils removed with air pressure. Remaining fibrils are coated with a thin pellethane layer for a smooth surface. Two snouts with sinus valsavae, petal-shaped backflow regions. Inflow port contains a bell-shaped pellethane cuff for connecting to the right atrium. The cuff is lined on the outside with Dacron velour. The outflow port contains a corrugated Dacron graft for connection to the pulmonary artery. Polyurethane trileaflet valves are cheaper and cause less trauma to the blood than mechanical valves.
The RVAD is accompanied by a quality-control checklist for the vacuum-formed housing. No quick connects. Indicates mold temperature and pellethane type and thickness. Chronic quality. Approved for mandatory .060 thickness of port walls. Checklist also includes condition of valve junctions, diaphragm-housing junction, and webbing.
Currently not on view
Object Name
heart, artificial
ventricular assist device
date made
Kolff Laboratory
Physical Description
dacron (overall material)
graphite (overall material)
pellethane (overall material)
overall: 62 cm x 7.5 cm x 7 cm; 24 13/32 in x 2 15/16 in x 2 3/4 in
overall: 3 3/4 in x 10 5/8 in x 7 1/2 in; 9.525 cm x 26.9875 cm x 19.05 cm
place made
United States: Utah, Salt Lake City
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
Artificial Organs
Artificial Hearts
Health & Medicine
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Artificial Hearts
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Willim J. Kolff, M.D.
manufacturing technique described in article.
Pantalos, G.M., et al.. Development of Smaller Artificial Ventricles and Valves Made by Vacuum Forming

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