A fundamental breakthrough in long-term circulatory support technology is needed to drive the field forward. The reasons for this are twofold. First, despite decades of research extracorporeal drive systems for long-term ventricular assist devices (VADs) continue to be extremely problematic in terms of infection risk and patient quality-of-life. Second, bleeding and thrombosis associated with exposure to blood-contacting surfaces are life-threatening complications that have yet to be resolved in the setting of long-term circulatory support. Together, these problems have proven difficult, if not impossible, to overcome using traditional blood pump technologies, and there is no indication that the latest generation of rotary devices will prove to be any more successful in the long run. It is therefore important that researchers continue to explore new and innovative ways to assist the failing heart for patients who require long-term circulatory support.

Given the persistent difficulties encountered with existing...

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