Realheart's CEO Ina Laura Perkins is holding a presentation today at the annual meeting for the International Society for Mechanical Circulatory Support in Hannover, where she will give an update on the process of developing the world's first artificial four-chamber heart and will also share the results achieved so far through blood tests.
Blood testing is a key activity in Realheart's development work, as the aim is to achieve as low blood damage as possible to move away from the side effects that have so far hampered the use of artificial hearts as a treatment option. Certain parameters, such as hemolysis, i.e. the leakage of hemoglobin from red blood cells, also need to be reported to regulatory authorities.
The version of the Realheart TAH developed in 2018 – a manually controlled prototype – was initially tested with porcine blood in a German laboratory. The hemolysis values that were obtained then proved to be comparable to those of another artificial heart under development.
Similar tests were conducted with human blood in Realheart's own lab at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm. Comparing the results between the old version and the next version of the pump – which had external pressure sensors and an automatic algorithm – an 18 percent reduction in the hemolysis value of the newer version was obtained.
In the following series of tests, this newer version of the pump was compared with SynCardia, the product that is currently the most widely used in the market, and preliminary results show that Realheart's hemolysis value was less than half of that of its competitor. The company is now preparing to test the newly developed clinical version of Realheart TAH against SynCardia.
In parallel, a blood-based study of the effect of heart pumps on the immune system has recently been initiated in collaboration with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
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