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Int J Artif Organs. 2001 Jul;24(7):456-62.

A hybrid (numerical-physical) model of the left ventricle.

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Institute of Biomedical Technologies, CNR, Rome, Italy.


Hydraulic models of the circulation are used to test mechanical devices and for training and research purposes; when compared to numerical models, however, they are not flexible enough and rather expensive. The solution proposed here is to merge the characteristics and the flexibility of numerical models with the functions of physical models. The result is a hybrid model with numerical and physical sections connected by an electro-hydraulic interface - which is to some extent the main problem since the numerical model can be easily changed or modified. The concept of hybrid model is applied to the representation of ventricular function by a variable elastance numerical model. This prototype is an open loop circuit and the physical section is built out of a reservoir (atrium) and a modified windkessel (arterial tree). The corresponding equations are solved numerically using the variables (atrial and arterial pressures) coming from the physical circuit. Ventricular output flow is the computed variable and is sent to a servo amplifier connected to a DC motor-gear pump system. The gear pump, behaving roughly as a flow source, is the interface to the physical circuit. Results obtained under different hemodynamic conditions demonstrate the behaviour of the ventricular model on the pressure-volume plane and the time course of output flow and arterial pressure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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