This paper presents and discusses a number of significant seminal patents on implantable heart-assist and compression devises. It further discusses active, electrically controllable and implantable heart compression/assist systems equipped with ionic polymeric artificial muscles. A brief description of the characteristics and modeling of ionic polymer metal composites (IPMCs) as artificial muscles is also included in this paper. These polymeric artificial muscles can be suitably integrated with or sutured to the myocardium. In particular, they can be sutured to the left ventricle and placed around a failing hearts ischemic muscle tissues and snugly conformed to the size and the shape of the heart muscle to cyclically and synchronously assist the systolic and diastolic activities and functions of a failing heart. These systems will be designed for selectively assisting the ventricles or atria, and in particular the left ventricle of a weak heart to produce enough internal pressure and to pump blood from one or more sides in synchrony with the natural systolic contraction of the ventricle, as well as providing arrhythmia control of the beating heart. The proposed compression heart assist system is microprocessor based and electrically-controlled and completely implantable in the body of a patient for treating congestive heart diseases and related cardiac complications such as cardiomyopathy and valvular disorders. The same technology can also be applied to atrial fibrillation which is a malfunction of the right atrium as well other bio-organ compression such as thrombo-embolic deterrent (TED) type enhancement of venous circulation in the legs. The power supply for the implanted system can be multi-year long lasting batteries that can be recharged transcutaneously. The proposed multi-fingered heart compression device (MFHCD) is entirely endoscopically implantable and can be directly or transcutaneously energized by inductive magnetoresonant generators.
Keywords: Heart compression, CHF, cardiovascular diseases, LVAS, polymeric artificial muscles, IPMCs
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