Continuous flow total artificial heart: modeling and feedback control in a mock circulatory system

ASAIO J. 2008 May-Jun;54(3):249-55. doi: 10.1097/MAT.0b013e3181739b70.


We developed a mock circulatory loop and used mathematical modeling to test the in vitro performance of a physiologic flow control system for a total artificial heart (TAH). The TAH was constructed from two continuous flow pumps. The objective of the control system was to maintain loop flow constant in response to changes in outflow resistance of either pump. Baseline outflow resistances of the right (pulmonary vascular resistance) and the left (systemic vascular resistance) pumps were set at 2 and 18 Wood units, respectively. The corresponding circuit flow was 4 L/min. The control system consisted of two digital integral controllers, each regulating the voltage, hence, the rotational speed of one of the pumps. The in vitro performance of the flow control system was validated by increasing systemic and pulmonary vascular resistances in the mock loop by 4 and 8 Wood units (simulating systemic and pulmonary hypertension conditions), respectively. For these simulated hypertensive states, the flow controllers regulated circuit flow back to 4 L/min within seconds by automatically adjusting the rotational speed of either or both pumps. We conclude that this multivariable feedback mechanism may constitute an adequate supplement to the inherent pressure sensitivity of rotary blood pumps for the automatic flow control and left-right flow balance of a dual continuous flow pump TAH system.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Equipment Design
  • Feedback
  • Heart, Artificial*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / surgery
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Cardiovascular*