The innovative technique of the implantable DLR - ventricular assist device provides, for the first time, a true alternative for heart transplant patients. Despite stringent guidelines for organ donations, the overall number of transplants is still declining. Waiting for a new heart may take up to two years and about a quarter of the patients die while still on the waiting list. The only alternative to transplant is to stabilise the circulation with the help of an artificial blood pump. The DLR-Heart was developed as a response to the problems associated with the assist devices currently on the market. It overcomes these problems and facilitates a long term therapy.
The Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics transfers its extensive knowledge of robotic systems, acquired during years of successfully developing innovative systems for aerospace, to the ventricular assist device and thus expands into medical technology. As in aeronautics, highest standards regarding quality, reliability and durability have to be fulfilled. The project has received numerous national and international awards.