The purpose of this study was to evaluate in vivo the biocompatibility of BioMedFlex (BMF), a new resilient, hard-carbon, thin-film coating, as a blood journal bearing material in Cleveland Heart's (Charlotte, NC, USA) continuous-flow right and left ventricular assist devices (RVADs and LVADs). BMF was applied to RVAD rotating assemblies or both rotating and stator assemblies in three chronic bovine studies. In one case, an LVAD with a BMF-coated stator was also implanted. Cases 1 and 3 were electively terminated at 18 and 29 days, respectively, with average measured pump flows of 4.9 L/min (RVAD) in Case 1 and 5.7 L/min (RVAD) plus 5.7 L/min (LVAD) in Case 3. Case 2 was terminated prematurely after 9 days because of sepsis. The sepsis, combined with running the pump at minimum speed (2000 rpm), presented a worst-case biocompatibility challenge. Postexplant evaluation of the blood-contacting journal bearing surfaces showed no biologic deposition in any of the four pumps. Thrombus inside the RVAD inlet cannula in Case 3 is believed to be the origin of a nonadherent thrombus wrapped around one of the primary impeller blades. In conclusion, we demonstrated that BMF coatings can provide good biocompatibility in the journal bearing for ventricular assist devices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering