Skip to main content

Reducing the risks of artificial hearts for patients with heart failure

Heart Research Institute & University of Sydney

  • Cardiovascular Early-Mid Career Researcher Grant
Date Funded:
  • 18 November, 2021
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Dr. Anna Waterhouse

Project Summary

Development of a new artificial heart implant with a Slippery Nano-Coating that will reduce blood clotting and failure of these implants.

What is the issue for NSW?

Medical implants cause complications, such as blood clots, because foreign materials are reactive to blood. Patients with medical implants are required to receive blood thinning drugs to stop blood clots. However, these drugs can cause additional complications such as bleeding, which can often be fatal.

One implant that has these complications is the artificial heart. Artificial hearts are given to patients with heart failure (when the beating motion of the heart is impaired), and to patients waiting to receive a heart transplant.

There is an urgent clinical need to reduce artificial hearts and all medical implants causing blood clots and reduce the amount of blood thinning drugs patients need to receive when they have a medical implant. This will reduce side effects, improve patient treatment and reduce healthcare costs.

What does the research aim to do and how?

Dr Waterhouse developed a new Liquid, Slippery Nano-Coating for medical implants that stops blood sticking to material surfaces. This Slippery Nano-Coating reduces blood clots.

This study aims to further develop this slippery nano-coating for medical implants by understanding how it reduces blood clots, and how much the use of blood thinning drugs can be reduced. Her team will use state-of-the-art tools that they have made to test the Slippery Nano-Coating in a range of circuits that mimic blood flow through artificial hearts on scales ranging from small (micro) to human-sized.