Design of Mechanical Bearings in Cardiac Assist Devices
5. Concluding Remarks
Mechanical circulatory assist devices have benefited from tremendous progress over the past decades since the first devices were introduced. Today, these devices, particularly those that have been approved by regulatory agencies for safety and effectiveness, are mostly safe and reliable, and provide a viable option for treating patients with serious heart related conditions. As in other mechanical systems, these devices require bearings to support the rotating and moving elements. This review provided a brief overview of different types of mechanical bearings and the principle design process. Some of the fundamental issues related to the potential damaging effects of wear and contact damage were discussed to highlight the importance of proper bearing design and selection of bearing materials for reliable and safe operation of the devices. The recent success in the design of these devices provides assurance that the future is bright and the assist devices will improve further and will incorporate new technologies as they become available for implementation.