The Levitronix / Thoratec CentriMag short-term LVAS comprises a single-use centrifugal pump, a motor, and a primary drive console. Compared to other devices, the Levitronix LVAS is unique in that it is designed to operate without mechanical bearings or seals. This is possible because the motor magnetically levitates the impeller, achieving rotation with no friction or wear.
In the United States, the Levitronix CentriMag LVAS is still under investigation for use as a short-term device that would provide circulatory support of up to 14 days for patients with postcardiotomy cardiogenic shock (those who have developed heart failure as a result of heart surgery).
The Levitronix CentriMag is a continuous-flow, centrifugal-type rotary blood pump that is placed outside the body (extracorporeally). The pump housing and rotor are made of medical-grade polycarbonate, designed for single-use. The only moving component within the pump is the impeller, which is magnetically levitated and rotated in a contact-free manner. The centrifugal pump design permits rotation of the impeller at lower speeds, while still achieving desired flow rates. The pump can rotate at speeds of 1500 rpm to 5500 rpm and can provide flow rates of up to 9.9 liters per minute.
The Levitronix pump causes very little damage to the blood because it does not contain any bearings or seals—components that are known to cause hemolysis and promote thrombus formation. In addition, the pump does not contain any flexing sacs, diaphragms, or valves, minimizing the risk of component failure and device-related adverse effects.