How Resonant Link and Abbott Went from Impossible to a Path Forward in Nine Months
It’s hard to make a good product even better. So much so that in 2006, Netflix offered $1 million to anyone who could make its movie recommendation engine better by just 10%. It took three years for someone to win.
Luckily, when Abbott approached us about helping them fully implant their LVAD, it didn’t take three years to identify a way to safely and reliably wirelessly power their device. It took nine months.
Our partnership with Abbott began after decades of unsuccessful attempts to develop a Fully-Implanted Left-Ventricular Assist System (FILVAS) to improve patient outcomes and quality of life for those living with advanced heart failure. Fully-implanted systems had been sought by Abbott and others, but not realized due to the inefficiency of conventional wireless power, which heats up surrounding tissue too much.
A traditional LVAS or LVAD uses an implantable pump for hemodynamic support, connected through the abdomen by a wire called a driveline. To keep the heart pumping, LVAS requires continuous energy and communication through the driveline, which connects the device inside the body with an external controller and power source. This is both a technology barrier and a barrier to patient adoption, requiring significant lifestyle changes. Could there be a way for patients to have a safe, reliable, and efficient means of charging while living an untethered life, to its fullest? That’s the question Abbott posed to us.
The answer is yes and together with Abbott, we developed a FILVAS that places the pump, controller, and rechargeable system within the body. It combines our state of the art high-frequency power electronics, multi-layer self-resonant (MSRS) wireless coils, and electromagnetic shielding IP, with the Heartmate 3™ pump to deliver ~10 W of continuous power with a high misalignment tolerance to continuously run the pump and recharge the implanted battery even as the body moves. It does this while meeting strict thermal requirements, providing hope of a higher quality of life for millions living with heart failure.
For more information about Abbott’s in-development Fully-Implantable Left-Ventricular Assist System (FILVAS), you can read the full abstract in the ASAIO Journal.
Contact us today to discuss your medical device power needs.