, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 235-245
Date: 14 Oct 2011

An implantable Fabry-Pérot pressure sensor fabricated on left ventricular assist device for heart failure

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Abstract

Continuous flow left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are commonly used as bridge-to-transplantation or destination therapy for heart failure patients. However, non-optimal pumping speeds can reduce the efficacy of circulatory support or cause dangerous ventricular arrhythmias. Optimal flow control for continuous flow LVADs has not been defined and calls for an implantable pressure sensor integrated with the LVAD for real-time feedback control of pump speed based on ventricular pressure. A MEMS pressure sensor prototype is designed, fabricated and seamlessly integrated with LVAD to enable real-time control, optimize its performance and reduce its risks. The pressure sensing mechanism is based on Fabry-Pérot interferometer principle. A biocompatible parylene diaphragm with a silicon mirror at the center is fabricated directly on the inlet shell of the LVAD to sense pressure changes. The sensitivity, range and response time of the pressure sensor are measured and validated to meet the requirements of LVAD pressure sensing.