Cardiovascular Innovation Institute nets $2M NIH grant for pediatric card research

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The Cardiovascular Innovation Institute (CII), a partnership between the University of Louisville (UofL) and Jewish Hospital, in collaboration with researchers at Indiana University and Purdue University, have received a $2.03 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an implantable pump that seeks to improve the lives of patients with single ventricle heart disease.

Single ventricle heart disease is a congenital condition in which one chamber of the heart is either missing or underdeveloped, causing an overwhelming burden on the remaining chamber to pump blood effectively.

The project is led by UofL biomedical engineer Guruprasad Giridharan, PhD, Indiana University pediatric surgeon Mark Rodefeld, MD, and Purdue University mechanical engineer Steve Frankel, PhD. It represents a collaboration between biomedical engineers in the department of bioengineering at UofL, who are based at CII, and UofL's division of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery.

The implantable pump is designed to deliver blood to the lungs and assist the single ventricle, potentially improving the child's circulatory status, according to Giridharan. "We have created pump prototypes of this novel and simple assist device. The funding from the NIH will enable improvement of the prototypes that will hopefully take it that much closer to implantation in humans," he said.