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Image VentrAssist implantable blood pump, 2006

TLF ID M000379

This is a VentrAssist implantable blood pump designed by Ventracor and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Technology, Sydney, in 1997-99 and made by Ventracor in 2006. It features a titanium heart-shaped pump attached to a blue rectangular control box via a metal-and-plastic lead. The control box has a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen at centre top and four points of connection (not shown): 'pc', 'reserve', 'primary' and 'pump'.

Educational details

Educational value
  • The VentrAssist is an implantable blood pump designed as a permanent alternative to heart transplantation for people suffering congestive heart failure (an impaired ability of the heart to pump blood). It can also provide temporary therapy while patients wait for a transplant. It helps the heart to pump blood, provides the possibility for the heart to rest and recover and does not require removal of the heart.
  • The device addresses the growing health problem of heart failure for which the only cure is a heart transplant. According to Ventracor there are an estimated 11.2 million sufferers of congestive heart failure worldwide, increasing by 10 per cent each year. Only about 3,000 people receive a heart transplant each year.
  • The VentrAssist technology is unique and when first developed was smaller, lighter and simpler than other heart pump devices. The pump's only moving part is a rotating impeller that 'floats' in the blood, reducing wear and the potential for blood clots. At the time it was developed this feature was unique in the marketplace. The biggest challenges in the design and development process were making the device reliable and easy to manufacture.
  • Designed and developed in Australia, the VentrAssist was first patented in 2001. The first human implant was made in June 2003 at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. By 2008, more than 250 implants had been made in ten countries, and the product had achieved CE Mark approval to market in Europe, TGA market approval in Australia, and was undergoing FDA trials in the USA.
  • The VentrAssist received an Australian Design Award and an Engineering Excellence Award in 2006. Locally designed and manufactured, it represents ongoing Australian innovation and expertise in medical devices and associated precision manufacturing.

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Powerhouse Museum
  • Organization: Powerhouse Museum
  • Description: Content provider
  • Address: NSW, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Name: Ventracor Ltd
  • Organization: Ventracor Ltd
  • Description: Author
  • Address: New South Wales
  • Person: University of,Technology Faculty of Engineering
  • Description: Author
  • Publisher
  • Name: Powerhouse Museum
  • Organization: Powerhouse Museum
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: NSW, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Curriculum Corporation and Trustees of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences 2009 (except where otherwise indicated). You may view, display, print out, copy and modify this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.