Continuous-flow pump model study: The effect on pump performance of pump characteristics and cardiovascular conditions

Gianfranco Ferrari, Maciej Kozarski, Libera Fresiello, Arianna Di Molfetta, Krzysztof Zieliński, Krystyna Górczyńska, Krzysztof J. Pałko, Marek Darowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This model study evaluates the effect of pump characteristics and cardiovascular data on hemodynamics in atrio-aortic VAD assistance. The model includes a computational circulatory sub-model and an electrical sub-model representing two rotary blood pumps through their pressure-flow characteristics. The first is close to a pressure generator - PG (average flow sensitivity to pressure variations, -0.047 l mmHg-1); the second is closer to a flow generator - FG (average flow sensitivity to pressure variations, -0.0097 l mmHg-1). Interaction with VAD was achieved by means of two interfaces, behaving as impedance transformers. The model was verified by use of literature data and VAD onset conditions were used as a control for the experiments. Tests compared the two pumps, at constant pump speed, in different ventricular and circulatory conditions: maximum ventricular elastance (0.44-0.9 mmHg cm-3), systemic peripheral resistance (781-1200 g cm -4 s-1), ventricular diastolic compliance C p (5-10-50 cm3 mmHg-1), systemic arterial compliance (0.9-1.8 cm3 mmHg-1). Analyzed variables were: arterial and venous pressures, flows, ventricular volume, external work, and surplus hemodynamic energy (SHE). The PG pump generated the highest SHE under almost all conditions, in particular for higher C p (+50 %). PG pump flow is also the most sensitive to E max and C p changes (-26 and -33 %, respectively). The FG pump generally guarantees higher external work reduction (54 %) and flow less dependent on circulatory and ventricular conditions. The results are evidence of the importance of pump speed regulation with changing ventricular conditions. The computational sub-model will be part of a hydro-numerical model, including autonomic controls, designed to test different VADs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Artificial Organs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Computational model
  • Heart assist device
  • Lumped parameter model
  • Physical model
  • Rotary blood pump

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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