Frank-starling control of a left ventricular assist device

Michael Charles Stevens, Nicholas Richard Gaddum, Mark Pearcy, Robert F. Salamonsen, Daniel Lee Timms, David Glen Mason, John F. Fraser

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A physiological control system was developed for a rotary left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in which the target pump flow rate (LVADQ) was set as a function of left atrial pressure (LAP), mimicking the Frank-Starling mechanism. The control strategy was implemented using linear PID control and was evaluated in a pulsatile mock circulation loop using a prototyped centrifugal pump by varying pulmonary vascular resistance to alter venous return. The control strategy automatically varied pump speed (2460 to 1740 to 2700 RPM) in response to a decrease and subsequent increase in venous return. In contrast, a fixed-speed pump caused a simulated ventricular suction event during low venous return and higher ventricular volumes during high venous return. The preload sensitivity was increased from 0.011 L/min/mmHg in fixed speed mode to 0.47L/min/mmHg, a value similar to that of the native healthy heart. The sensitivity varied automatically to maintain the LAP and LVADQ within a predefined zone. This control strategy requires the implantation of a pressure sensor in the left atrium and a flow sensor around the outflow cannula of the LVAD. However, appropriate pressure sensor technology is not yet commercially available and so an alternative measure of preload such as pulsatility of pump signals should be investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2011 Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
Subtitle of host publicationEMBC 2011
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternational Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 2011 - Boston, United States of America
Duration: 30 Aug 20113 Sep 2011
Conference number: 33rd (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 2011
Abbreviated titleEMBC 2011
CountryUnited States of America
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