Cardianove Uses CATIA to Remove Two Years From Development Time of Life-Saving Heart Pump for $2.5 Billion Heart Transplant Market

Goal is to create a temporary solution for heart transplant patients

Montreal, Canada, May 30, 2001 - Cardianove Inc., announced today it has designed the world's smallest life-saving heart pump using advanced software from IBM and Dassault Systemes (Nasdaq: DASTY; Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) that shaved two years off the normal development schedule.

The CATIA Solutions computer-aided design software was also used to run complex three-dimensional simulations to help ensure that the miniature device will meet requirements when testing begins early next year.  If  the tests are successful, cardiac surgeons throughout the world would place the fingertip-sized pump, (22 mm in diameter), inside human hearts to provide breathing relief and to extend the life of patients waiting for transplants.  It is estimated that there are more than 4,100 people waiting for heart transplants in the United States.

Time is of the essence because the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), says nearly 8,500 patents have died waiting for heart transplants since 1988 in the United States.

The speed, virtual simulation and precision of the computer simulations have given the team of Cardianove engineers and cardiac transplant surgeons, that developed the pump, the confidence that it will not only work, but assurances that it can be manufactured to the necessary tolerances.

The pump will be machined out of titanium with blades that are only 100 microns thick (a human hair is about 50 microns) that turn at 10,000-12,000 rotations per minute (RPM).  It is powered by a small external battery that sends a tiny electrical current directly through the skin without the need for wires. Cardianove is aiming to have the revolutionary heart pump ready and approved for human application within four years.  Its goal is to develop a more permanent implant with a functional life of 10 years or longer.

The project was conceived at the Montréal Heart Institute, a highly specialized cardiology research university hospital, where doctors required a small pump to assist patients with failing hearts.  The Institute contacted the École Polytechnique de Montréal, a leading Canadian engineering university, and its professor of general mechanics and CATIA instructor, Andre Garon, to assist in the project.

Garon, a co-founder of Cardianove Inc., formed a team of a dozen engineers and graduate students familiar with CATIA Solutions.  Their objective was to design and model an auxiliary pump that can be inserted directly into the left ventricle of damaged hearts.  After only 36 months, two years less than the time typically needed for the development of similar devices, the Cardianove team unveiled its miniature heart pump.

Once inserted into the heart, the pump can help prolong the life expectancy of patients with advanced congestive heart failure due coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathy; or act as a temporary solution for people awaiting heart transplants, or for post-operative patients whose hearts need assistance until they recover and can function on their own.

" After we completed the computer model, we used CATIA's numerical control (NC) functions to quickly create a prototype, and used CFX fluid dynamic software to determine if we could cut the parts to spec and predict how they would behave in actual operation in the human body.  CATIA allowed us to use the latest in 3D modeling to explore over 100 virtual prototypes, and to machine the top three candidates," said Garon.

For the design and solid modeling of the pump, Cardianove engineers used CATIA Version 4 in conjunction with fluid dynamics software, all running on five IBM RS/6000 UNIX workstations. CATIA's NC commands were essential in the production of the design, which required a very high degree of precision to enable the lab to machine the small parts out of titanium.

Carlo Ranfagni, IBM director of small and medium worldwide sales, IBM Product Lifecycle Management, said " Cardianove’s application illustrates the versatility of CATIA, and its flexible capabilities for the rapid development of products of any type, for any industry and in any size company."

Philippe Forestier, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Dassault Systemes, adds: "CATIA delivers accurate digital product representation, crucial to part and device architecture decisions as well as meeting stringent safety, quality and regulation standards. We are extremely excited CATIA is contributing to the progress of the medical industry."