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A permanent-magnet motor has been designed for an innovative axial-flow ventricular assist device (VAD), to be placed in the descending aorta, intended to offload the left ventricle and augment renal perfusion in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). For this application, an intra-aortic impeller with a built-in permanent magnet rotor is driven by an extra-aortic stator working in synchronism with the natural heart. To meet this need, a two-dimensional analytical model has been developed in the Matlab environment to estimate machine parameters; finite element analysis (FEA) has been used to refine the results. A prototype blood pump equipped with an innovative motor designed from the procedure above has been tested in a mock loop representing the human circulatory system. The performance of VAD incorporating the motor is presented.