Meet the inventor

Jean-Baptiste Drevet

Jean-Baptiste Drevet, the father of the undulating membrane pump technology

Engineer, researcher, and passionate inventor, Jean-Baptiste Drevet is the father of the undulating membrane pump technology. This technology is at the heart of CorWave’s cardiac pumps, which would never have come into existence without his visionary spirit.

A former triple jump champion, Jean-Baptiste Drevet possessed the determination often attributed to high-level athletes. When he wasn’t busy developing his invention, he was also passionate about Japanese culture and art. He even co-directed an art gallery in the heart of Paris for several years.

It was during his time at Arts et Métiers, as he sought to optimize the energy consumption of pumps, that the concept of the undulating membrane took root in his mind. His brilliant idea, inspired by the swimming of dolphins, was initially rejected by his professors. He began developing the first prototypes in his Parisian apartment, which he had transformed into a laboratory. After working for nearly a decade on the development of his idea, Jean-Baptiste Drevet and his partner met with Sofinnova Partners and the startup studio MD Start. Under the guidance of Gérard Hascoët and Tim Lenihan, a cardiac pump project using the undulating membrane technology was incubated, soon giving birth to CorWave. Jean-Baptiste Drevet worked hand in hand with the CorWave teams to design and manufacture the first prototypes. Once CorWave was able to stand on its own, he then dedicated himself to other applications of his idea. Jean-Baptiste Drevet passed away in 2022. His passion, humility, and determination remain etched in the memory of our teams who continue to bring his invention to life in service to patients.

“Fish and birds have existed for millions of years. Fish move forward with an undulating membrane, and birds fly with two undulating membranes. If propulsion with a turbine was ideal, fish would have a turbine, and birds would have two.”