Introduction

LifeTec Group is working on a new update for the Cardiac BioSimulator! This time, we are developing a module that allows for contraction behaviour based on pressure feedback. The Cardiac BioSimulator is being used extensively both for surgical trainings and demonstrations as well as research and development for medical devices in an early stage of the development process. The real tissue interaction in this platform is of great value over standardized bench tests or even numerical simulations. One feature that is missing on this simulator is the contraction behaviour of a living heart.  

Current Model

In a healthy living heart, the strength of the contraction of the heart is (amongst others) dependent on the amount of load before and after the heart (pre- and afterload) and the pressures inside of the heart. For example, when a heart is experiencing a higher preload, it is being filled faster, increasing presures, and it will produce a higher stroke volume. Currently, the Cardiac BioSimulator is passively actuated. The operator sets a heart rate and stroke volume and the piston connected to the ventricle will execute these movements whatever the pressures in the atrium, ventricle or aorta are.  

Cardiac Contraction Module

The new module will have the activation and controlling of the heart programmed to behave like a living heart: based on pressure feedback control. A single-fiber model describes the behaviour of cardiac tissue based on left ventricular volume and pressure. By measuring these variables, we can calculate real-time what the response of the heart should be and how strongly it should contract. This can then drive the pumps accordingly and have the Cardiac BioSimulator respond much in the same way a living heart would. The video here gives some examples of how the heart responds to pressure and load changes.  

What's in it for you?

When you are developing a new device of therapy for the heart that should improve hemodynamic performance, you will want to have the level of improvement as accurate as possible. In the current version of the Cardiac BioSimulator you could see direct response in hemodynamics by e.g. repairing a leaking valve, but the contraction force of the heart wouldn’t change. In a living heart, there always is a response in hemodynamics, and we will be able to simulate this response in our Cardiac BioSimulator, giving a clearer picture of just how effective a treatment is.  

Surgical and interventional trainings will become more realistic as well when a physician sees a live response. For example when a physician is blocking leaflet motion during implantation, the simulator will be less forgiving regarding pressure levels and better demonstrate the speed at which needs to be operated.  

R&D Engineer

Marcel Wijlaars

R&D Engineer

Bart Smeets

Please contact Bart for more information

R&D Engineer
Bart Smeets
Call at +31 40 3989393 or e-mail us

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