A Modified Elastance Model to Control Mock Ventricles in Real-Time: Numerical and Experimental Validation

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This article describes an elastance-based mock ventricle able to reproduce the correct ventricular pressure-volume relationship and its correct interaction with the hydraulic circuit connected to it. A real-time control of the mock ventricle was obtained by a new left ventricular mathematical model including resistive and inductive terms added to the classical Suga-Sagawa elastance model throughout the whole cardiac cycle. A valved piston pump was used to mimic the left ventricle. The pressure measured into the pump chamber was fed back into the mathematical model and the calculated reference left ventricular volume was used to drive the piston. Results show that the classical model is very sensitive to pressure disturbances, especially during the filling phase, while the modified model is able to filter out the oscillations thus eliminating their detrimental effects. The presented model is thus suitable to control mock ventricles in real-time, where sudden pressure disturbances represent a key issue and are not negligible. This real-time controlled mock ventricle is able to reproduce the elastance mechanism of a natural ventricle by mimicking its preload (mean atrial pressure) and afterload (mean aortic pressure) sensitivity, i.e., the Starling law. Therefore, it can be used for designing and testing cardiovascular prostheses due to its capability to reproduce the correct ventricle-vascular system interaction.

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