A novel intrapericardial pulsatile device for individualized, biventricular circulatory support without direct blood contact

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2022 Mar 1;S0022-5223(22)00223-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2021.11.093. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Due to severely limited donor heart availability, durable mechanical circulatory support remains the only treatment option for many patients with end-stage heart failure. However, treatment complexity persists due to its univentricular support modality and continuous contact with blood. We investigated the function and safety of reBEAT (AdjuCor GmbH), a novel, minimal invasive mechanical circulatory support device that completely avoids blood contact and provides pulsatile, biventricular support.

Methods: For each animal tested, an accurately sized cardiac implant was manufactured from computed tomography scan analyses. The implant consists of a cardiac sleeve with three inflatable cushions, 6 epicardial electrodes and driveline connecting to an electro-pneumatic, extracorporeal portable driver. Continuous epicardial electrocardiogram signal analysis allows for systolic and diastolic synchronization of biventricular mechanical support. In 7 pigs (weight, 50-80 kg), data were analyzed acutely (under beta-blockade, n = 5) and in a 30-day long-term survival model (n = 2). Acquisition of intracardiac pressures and aortic and pulmonary flow data were used to determine left ventricle and right ventricle stroke work and stroke volume, respectively.

Results: Each implant was successfully positioned around the ventricles. Automatic algorithm electrocardiogram signal annotations resulted in precise, real-time mechanical support synchronization with each cardiac cycle. Consequently, progressive improvements in cardiac hemodynamic parameters in acute animals were achieved. Long-term survival demonstrated safe device integration, and clear and stable electrocardiogram signal detection over time.

Conclusions: The present study demonstrates biventricular cardiac support with reBEAT. Various demonstrated features are essential for realistic translation into the clinical setting, including safe implantation, anatomical fit, safe device-tissue integration, and real-time electrocardiogram synchronized mechanical support, result in effective device function and long-term safety.

Keywords: avoiding blood contact; biventricular support; heart failure; mechanical circulatory support; minimal invasive.