Clinically adequate implementation of physiological control of a rotary left ventricular assist device requires a sophisticated technique such as the recently proposed method based on the Frank-Starling mechanism. In this mechanism, the stroke volume of the heart increases in response to an increase in the volume of blood filling the left ventricle at the end of diastole. To emulate this process, changes in pump speed need to automatically regulate pump flow to ensure that the combined output of the left ventricle and pump match the output of the right ventricle across changing cardiovascular states. In this approach, we exploit the linear relationship between estimated mean pump flow ( Q combining overline est ) and pump flow pulsatility ( PI Q p ) in a tracking control algorithm based on sliding mode control. The immediate response of the controller was assessed using a lumped parameter model of the cardiovascular system (CVS) and pump from which could be extracted both Q combining overline est and PI Q p . Two different perturbations from the resting state in the presence of left ventricular failure were tested. The first was blood loss requiring a reduction in pump flow to match the reduced output from the right ventricle and to avoid the complication of ventricular suction. The second was exercise, requiring an increase in pump flow. The sliding mode controller induced the required changes in Qp within approximately five heart beats in the blood loss simulation and eight heart beats in the exercise simulation without clinically significant transients or steady-state errors.