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James F. Antaki, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2002
For fundamental contributions for the design and control of implantable circulatory assist devices.

Heart-Recovery Device for Infants and Young Children

Via Cornell University | January 30, 2020

The College of Engineering has announced the winners of the annual Scale-Up and Prototyping Awards, which give teams of engineering faculty and students up to $40,000 to commercialize startup technologies that might otherwise have trouble obtaining funding.

Heart-Recovery Device for Infants and Young Children: James Antaki, Susan K. McAdam Professor of Heart Assist Technology in the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering.

Heart-assist pumps, also known as ventricular assist devices (VADs), are now the standard of care for treating adults with severe heart failure. They have saved tens of thousands of adults, but no suitable VADs exist to treat infants and young children with congenital or acquired cardiac defects.

Existing heart-assist systems approved for children in the U.S. were designed nearly three decades ago, and control units for such systems weigh more than 400 pounds, meaning pediatric patients are almost exclusively confined to high-dependency hospital wards.

Antaki and his colleagues have been working for more than 10 years on PediaFlow, a miniature heart-assist pump for infants and young children. Since children have a greater chance of cardiac recovery compared to adults, implantation of a VAD can potentially rehabilitate a child’s heart back to health.

The team’s goal is to develop a prototype of a PediaFlow control unit that incorporates this recovery feature. The project will focus on the design and usability of the prototype, which the researchers hope will lead to future clinical studies with children… Read the full article.

Pittsburgh Researchers Prepare for Space Surgery

Via Carnegie Mellon University | September 4, 2012

Before humans can take long expeditions to Mars and beyond, and even back and forth to the moon, one problem must be solved.

In the weightlessness of space, an appendectomy, removal of a gall bladder, cuts or wounds, or even the pulling of a tooth would contaminate the spaceship with blood, tissue and bodily fluids. Gravity, as it turns out, is an important surgical tool that helps to confine bodily fluids.

But a team of local researchers is working to solve the problem. Its astro-surgical tool, known as an Aqueous Immersion Surgical System, uses water pressure in a watertight containment area to control bleeding and prevent blood, fluids and tissue from floating away. With no blood bank available in space, the device also could recover an astronaut’s blood during surgery for reuse in the patient.

James E. Burgess, a neurosurgeon at Allegheny General Hospital; James Antaki, a biomedical engineer at Carnegie Mellon University; doctoral student Jennifer A. Hayden; and George M. Pantalos, a professor of biomedical engineering and surgery at the University of Louisville, are combining talents and expertise to refine a prototype initially designed to control blood during brain and spinal surgeries. Only later did they realize the idea provided a solution of conducting surgeries in space.

Carnegie Mellon University Biomedical Engineers Lead Collaborative Team Developing New Astro Surgery Tools for NASA Deep Space Missions

Via Carnegie Mellon University | August 27, 2012

Move over “Bones” McCoy. Future voyages of the starship Enterprise just might include astro surgery as this dynamic discipline jumps from the pages of fiction to reality.

A team of biomedical engineering researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Louisville are developing surgical tools that could be used for future expeditionary spaceflights to the moon, an asteroid or Mars.

“In deep space, surgical procedures will be severely complicated by absence of gravity, where it becomes difficult to prevent cabin contamination from blood and body fluids,” said James Antaki, a professor of biomedical engineering at CMU.

To address these challenges of surgical care in zero gravity, Antaki along with George M. Pantalos, a professor of surgery and bioengineering at the University of Louisville, and CMU researchers James E. Burgess and Jennifer A. Hayden are developing a watertight surgery system to isolate the wound and control bleeding by creating a pressurized aqueous environment within the surgical field.

Surgery in Space

Via Carnegie Mellon University | June 1, 2012

Surgical care in zero gravity would be a challenge.

And biomedical engineering researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Louisville are preparing for this possibility.

They are developing surgical tools that could be used on spaceflights to the moon, an asteroid or Mars.

“In deep space, surgical procedures will be severely complicated by absence of gravity, where it becomes difficult to prevent cabin contamination from blood and body fluids,” said James Antaki, a professor of biomedical engineering at CMU.

Antaki, CMU researchers James E. Burgess and Jennifer A. Hayden, and George M. Pantalos, a professor of surgery and bioengineering at the University of Louisville, are developing a watertight surgery system to isolate the wound and control bleeding by creating a pressurized aqueous environment within the surgical field.