Control of a Non-Blood Contacting Cardiac Assist Device

B.M. Hanson, R.C. Richardson, G.L.J. Davies, K. Watterson, M.C. Levesley, and P.G. Walker (UK)


Cardiovascular, Heart Assist Device, Control, Modelling


Cardiac assist devices are currently being developed with the aim of providing physical pumping assistance to a weakened or failing heart. This paper concerns the concept and control of an assist device using an artificial muscle wrap consisting of contractile bands. A heart simulator has been constructed in order to test the function and develop the control of these contractile bands. The simulator represents a section through a ventricle, and can physically replicate the dynamics of hearts in various states of health. With a prototype assist device wrapped around the simulator, the effect of any applied assistance can be quantified. We demonstrate that an impedance control strategy is suitable for control of an assist device, as this provides an assistance level that automatically adjusts as appropriate to the natural ability of the heart.

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