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Personalised medicine: MedUni Vienna and Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster Cardio are developing "smart" heart pumps

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(Vienna, 31 August 2017) Using an algorithm developed at the Medical University of Vienna together with the Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster for Cardiovascular Research and a recording device that was also designed there, it is now possible, for the first time in the world, to accurately monitor people fitted with cardiac pumps – what the technical jargon refers to as "smart pumping".

"This is the most intelligent pumping system in the world", say Heinrich Schima and Francesco Moscato from MedUni Vienna's Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering. It provides detailed analysis of the cardiac output and the pump output and is currently still at the research stage. It is hoped that, in future, the data can be called up at any time in the course of clinical practice, thereby allowing personalised therapy.

This system is also being presented at the largest conference in the world on the research and development of artificial organs, the ESAO, which will take place in the Lecture Center of Vienna General Hospital (Levels 7 and 8) from 6 to 9 September 2017. Heinrich Schima from MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital is Congress President and deputy coordinator of the Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster for Cardiovascular Research.


There are currently 20 patients with an at the Division of Cadiac Surgery implanted mini heart pump that uses the smart system – as a bridging measure while they are waiting for a heart transplant. The data are checked on discharge from hospital, at the time of outpatient appointments and as necessary, should the patient report any irregularities. The interactions between pump and heart, as well as their respective outputs, are recorded 50 times per second. Says Moscato: "We are able to measure and analyse cardiac arrhythmia, blood clot formation and also hypertension episodes." These problems are also being investigated in a clinical study funded by the Austrian Science Fund.  These data can be used to adjust the pump at any time and to personalise the settings for each patient.

The recorder is also still at the research stage but this technology should soon be in routine clinical use. Says Schima: "We are not yet able to make a diagnosis based on these data. A clinical examination by the treating doctor is still required to confirm diagnosis."

ESAO 2017
The Congress of the European Society for Artificial Organs – which is primarily concerned with cardiac pumps, vessels, blood purification (e.g. dialysis) systems, bioartificial organ replacement and tissue engineering – is the largest conference of its kind in the world and, this year, its theme is "Artificial Organs in the Orchestra of Life".
For more information and to register:

Exhibition: Artificial hearts – The bridge to survival
The exhibition entitled "Artificial hearts – The bridge to survival" is still on show in the Josephinum of MedUni Vienna (Währingerstraße 25, 1090 Vienna, Wednesday 16:00 – 20:00 hrs, Friday/Saturday 10:00 – 18:00 hrs) until 7 October 2017. It was put together by the Ludwig Boltzmann Society and MedUni Vienna and is supplemented by interventions by contemporary artists,. The exhibition curators are Moritz Stipsicz and Klaus Wassermann.
For more information: