A ventricular assist device (VAD)
is an auxiliary blood circulation pump. It is implanted to assist the left,
right or both ventricles to enhance circulation. The power source is worn
externally by the patient with a cable going through the skin. The opening in
the skin becomes a portal for serious infection which may also travel to the
heart. Numerous attempts have been made over the years to power VADs
transcutaneously. Almost all such attempts have been of some variation of
electromagnetic energy transfer from a sending coil outside the body to a
receiving coil inside the body to drive the pump. An alternate means of
transcutaneous energy transfer (TET) is needed to simplify the internal device
and reduce the potential heat build-up due to the electromagnetic coil.
The present invention is a novel approach to transferring energy
across in-tact skin, without a power cord, to drive an embedded pump mechanism.
It would eliminate the potential risk of infection due to a power cord. The
energy transferred would spin the pump impeller to circulate the blood. The
mechanism would reduce heat build-up and potentially pump at higher efficiency.
The mechanism would also charge an embedded battery, allowing the embedded pump
to operate for an extended period of time without being connected to any
external power source.