An in vitro model to study suction events by a ventricular assist device: validation with clinical data

Maria Rocchi*, Christoph Gross, Francesco Moscato, Thomas Schlöglhofer, Bart Meyns, Libera Fresiello

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: Ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are a valuable therapy for end-stage heart failure patients. However, some adverse events still persist, such as suction that can trigger thrombus formation and cardiac rhythm disorders. The aim of this study is to validate a suction module (SM) as a test bench for LVAD suction detection and speed control algorithms. Methods: The SM consists of a latex tube, mimicking the ventricular apex, connected to a LVAD. The SM was implemented into a hybrid in vitro-in silico cardiovascular simulator. Suction was induced simulating hypovolemia in a profile of a dilated cardiomyopathy and of a restrictive cardiomyopathy for pump speeds ranging between 2,500 and 3,200 rpm. Clinical data collected in 38 LVAD patients were used for the validation. Clinical and simulated LVAD flow waveforms were visually compared. For a more quantitative validation, a binary classifier was used to classify simulated suction and non-suction beats. The obtained classification was then compared to that generated by the simulator to evaluate the specificity and sensitivity of the simulator. Finally, a statistical analysis was run on specific suction features (e.g., minimum impeller speed pulsatility, minimum slope of the estimated flow, and timing of the maximum slope of the estimated flow). Results: The simulator could reproduce most of the pump waveforms observed in vivo. The simulator showed a sensitivity and specificity and of 90.0% and 97.5%, respectively. Simulated suction features were in the interquartile range of clinical ones. Conclusions: The SM can be used to investigate suction in different pathophysiological conditions and to support the development of LVAD physiological controllers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1155032
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2023


  • cardiovascular simulator
  • hybrid simulator
  • physiological controllers
  • suction
  • validation
  • ventricular assist device


Dive into the research topics of 'An in vitro model to study suction events by a ventricular assist device: validation with clinical data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this