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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 2 (2005), Issue 2, Pages 73-80

Mechanical Blood Pumps for Cardiac Assistance

M. Akdis and H. Reul

Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Aachen University of Technology, Pauwelsstr. 20, D-52074 Aachen, Germany

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cardiac assist devices are classified into the traditional engineering categories of displacement and rotary pumps. Clinical use and indications of the various pump categories are outlined and a detailed description of currently available systems is given. The first part deals with extracorporeal as well as implantable ventricular assist devices (VAD) of the displacement type and is followed by a section on current developments in the field of total artificial hearts (TAH). The second part covers the rotary pump category from cardiopulmonary bypass applications to implantable systems, including specific design aspects of radial, diagonal, and axial pumps.