Modelling and control of a failing heart managed by a left ventricular assist device

Jeongeun Son, Dongping Du, Yuncheng Du

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) recently has been used in advanced heart failure (HF), which supports a failing heart to meet blood circulation demand of the body. However, the pumping power of LVADs is typically set as a constant and cannot be freely adjusted to incorporate blood need from resting or mild exercise such as walking stairs. To promote the adoption of LVADs in clinical use as a long-term treatment option, a feedback controller is needed to regulate automatically the pumping power to support a time-varying blood demand, according to different physical activities. However, the tuning of pumping power induces suction, which will collapse the heart and cause sudden death. It is essential to consider suction when developing control strategy to adjust the pumping power. Further, hemodynamic of a failing heart exhibits variability, due to patient-to-patient heterogeneity and inherent stochastic nature of the heart. Such variability poses challenges for controller design. In this work, we develop a feedback controller to adjust the pumping power of an LVAD without inducing suction, while incorporating variability in hemodynamic. To efficiently quantify variability, the generalized polynomial chaos (gPC) theory is used to design a robust self-tuning controller. The efficiency of our control algorithm is illustrated with three case scenarios, each representing a specific change in physical activity of HF patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-573
Number of pages15
JournalBiocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Cardiovascular modelling
  • Left ventricular assist device control
  • Optimization
  • Self-tuning controller
  • Uncertainty quantification


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