Assessment of the VAD – Native ventricle pumping system by an equivalent pump: A computational model based procedure

Gianfranco Ferrari*, Arianna Di Molfetta, Krzysztof Zieliński, Valerio Cusimano, Marek Darowski, Maciej Kozarski, Libera Fresiello

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: To assess the interaction between a continuous flow pump (CFP) and the native ventricle (NV) when both pumps are giving a flow contribution. Methods and results: The pumping system, composed of NV and of CFP, is replaced by an equivalent pump (EP) with the same NV filling characteristics and heart rate. It is assumed that EP cardiac output is equal to the sum of NV and CFP flows and that its Emax is correlated to the CFP pump speed. Both the pumping system and EP are addressed with a closed loop lumped parameters cardiovascular model connected to a Heart Mate II (HM-II) CFP. The experiments were performed to: 1: verify EP Emax correlation with CFP speed. Resulting correlation:∼0.98; 2: verify EP parameters calculation accuracy, in comparison with the pumping system parameters for different values of peripheral resistance, Emax_NV, HR and CFP speed (8000–11000 RPM). Resulting average error: less than 4%; 3: show how EP can be used to obtain the desired haemodynamic or energetic conditions, then feeding the results into the pumping system, so as to regulate CFP speed accordingly. Conclusions: EP merges the properties of the pumping system composed of NV and CFP into a single pulsatile pump. The described methodology can be a useful support to optimise both haemodynamic and energetic variables in the pumping system when, with the simultaneous presence of CFP and NV flows, flow distribution between the two pumps becomes a critical issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1377
Number of pages13
JournalBiocybernetics and biomedical engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Circulatory model
  • End-systolic pressure
  • Equivalent pump
  • Lumped parameters model
  • Mechanical circulatory assistance
  • Ventricular elastance


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