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Guide to Collections Relating to the History of Artificial Internal Organs


University of Ottawa Heart Institute


40 Ruskin Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1Y 4W7


(613) 761-4545

Fax Number

(613) 761-5448


Contact Person

Tofy Mussivand, M.D., Director, Cardiovascular Devices Division


Access and Services

Appointment required.


The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is a bilingual academic health care institution dedicated to the promotion of cardiovascular health. The Institute was founded by Dr. Wilbert Keon, and since its opening in May 1976, has become an international center of excellence in cardiac care focusing on the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of heart disease through patient care, research and education. All of the Ottawa Heart Institute's activities are integrated into a major university hospital, encouraging close interaction between scientists, clinicians and other health care professionals. Under its Research Agreement with WorldHeart, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute continues to provide facilities and clinical support for the operation of CVD, which is responsible for continuing the research and development of HeartSaver VAD technologies.



Cardiovascular Devices Division, University of Ottawa Heart Institute Collection, 1989-present

Collection ID


Approximately six artificial heart VAD models; various supporting parts for VADs; display models

Biographical Note

The Cardiovascular Devices Division, under the directorship of Tofy Mussivand, M.D., has developed and evaluated a series of component technologies that have been integrated to form a totally implanted ventricular assist device (VAD). This technology has been internationally recognized and has been licensed for development and manufacturing by World Heart Corporation as the HeartSaver VAD. The HeartSaver VAD is based on the research and development conducted by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute as part of the "Canadian Artificial Heart Program," which began in 1989. This program resulted in the development of an Electro-hydraulic Ventricular Assist Device (EVAD). This device was subsequently renamed HeartSaver VAD in 1996 when World Heart Corporation was established to commercialize the development technologies.

In 2000, World Heart Corporation and Edwards Lifesciences Corporation merged. This agreement will blend the product and experience of Novacor in the current generation of pulsatile ventricular assist devices, with the next generation of fully implantable pulsatile VADs, WorldHeart's HeartSaver VAD. Edwards Lifesciences will continue to distribute the Novacor LVAS, and will also distribute the HeartSaver VAD and future WorldHeart products.

Collection Description

Early HeartSaver VAD models and component parts, as well as a long-term test unit system, are displayed in four cases in the Cardiovascular Devices Division. Items on display include:

  • HeartSaver VADs
    • Version 1 model, c. 1989
    • Version 3.1 model, c. 1993
    • Version 4 model, c. 1993
    • Version 5 model, c. 1997
  • Long Term Test Unit System (in large case) - started October 15, 1992
  • Supporting Parts for VADs
    • Internal transcutaneous energy unit
    • Transfer coils
    • Impeller
    • Internal controller
  • Symbion VAD, c. late 1980s
  • Model with implanted HeartSaver VAD

Finding Aid



Appointment required.

Related Material

"State of the Heart" Display (8 wall cases), Reception, 1st Floor, Ottawa Heart Institute (*dated display that needs refurbishing, probably mounted late 1980s, little text or educational information for patients)

  • Jarvik-7, 1986 used as bridge-to-transplant at Ottawa Heart Institute
  • Respiration Units
  • ECG monitors (3)
  • Oxygenators (3)
  • Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumps
  • Monitors
  • Valves
  • Stents
  • Pacemakers (about 20, predominantly internal pacemakers, c. 1980s)
  • Pacing monitors
  • Various photos of operations

Other related material includes two videos: (1) The Body: Inside Stories - "Mending Broken Hearts"; Discovery Channel, First Broadcast - February 6, 1995; and (2) "King of Hearts - Dreams of a Shepherd Boy" (Dr. Tofy Mussivand); "Scattering of Seeds" series celebrating contributions of immigrants to Canada; a History Television production.