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Guide to Collections Relating to the History of Artificial Internal Organs


L-VAD Technology, Inc.


300 River Place, Suite 6850, Detroit, Michigan 48207


(313) 446-2800

Fax Number

(313) 446-2801


Contact Person

Jean Kantrowitz


Access and Services

Appointment required.


This laboratory in its non-profit and, more recently, for-profit lives has pursued the research and development of methods to assist the failing heart almost exclusively. During the 1960's there was a subprogram spin-off to solve the problem of long-term control of the diaphragmatic muscle to be used as a means of cardiac assist for heart failure patients. A variety of experiments were conducted using neuromuscular stimulation to control the function of impaired organs.



L-VAD Technology, Inc. Collection, 1952-1992

Collection ID


18 identified project files (unknown linear feet); 4 films; 8 prototypes; photographs (unknown number)

Biographical Note

This laboratory is driven by the cardiac surgical research of Adrian Kantrowitz (born 1918).

Collection Description

This laboratory has manuscripts, original art work, grant applications, many prototypes, slides and films related to the following:

  • 1952 - Physiological experiments that first demonstrated the feasibility of assisting the work of the heart by means of diastolic augmentation
  • 1959 - First use of non-cardiac muscle for myocardial assistance, more recently approached as cardiac myoplasty
  • 1962 - Development of the implantable cardiac pacemaker
  • 1966 - First implantation in the world of a cardiac assist device intended to remain in the body for the treatment of a patient in severe chronic heart failure
  • 1967 - First heart transplant in the United States, second in the world, and first of an infant
  • 1968 - Development of intraaortic balloon pump for short-term use in patients in cardiogenic shock and first clinical use
  • 1972 - Treatment of first patient in severe chronic heart failure to be discharged to home with a device intended to remain permanently in the body
  • 1992 - Development, jointly with Aisin Human Systems, of a closed loop, totally automatic IABP system

Finding Aid

A short itemized listing compiled.


Permission required.

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