Physiologically Motivated Control for Blood Pumps
Heart failure is one of the leading causes of death in America. Currently 4.7 million Americans suffer from congestive heart failure in different stages, with 954,000 people dying every year from some form of heart or vascular disease. While a heart transplant is still the preferred treatment plan, there is a shortage of donor hearts with only half of the need being met, underscoring the importance of a reliable artificial heart. A Ventricular Assist Device, or VAD, is designed to work as a bridge to recovery for a transplant or as a permanent cardiac assist device. The VAD is attached in parallel to the native heart. One of the essential problems related to the operation of the axial flow VAD is the correct adaptation of the pump rpm, and hence the cardiac output, to the changing requirement of the body and, at the same time, prevent damage to the ventricles due to suction. To this end, comprehensive control strategies are required. Design of a control system requires a simple, yet adequate model that captures all essential characteristics of both the circulatory system and the VAD. This technology describes an integrated circulatory system-VAD model and a robust controller that would effectively control the VAD over a wide range of physical and pathological conditions using a minimum number of implantable sensors.
It is estimated that 50,000 heart patients each year could benefit from a heart transplant, with only half actually receiving transplants. This group of patients represents an annual market potential for cardiac-assist devices in the U.S. in excess of $3 billion. The annual worldwide potential market for assist devices could easily exceed $5 billion if assist devices were to be used not only as a bridge to transplant, but also in patients who are ineligible for a heart transplant. This technology would improve the VAD function making it a viable option for more people.
Stage of Development
A formal patent application has been filed with USPTO with a publication number of US20050159639 A1.
This technology is part of an active and ongoing research program and is seeking partners for development of the working product. It is available for developmental research support and licensing under either exclusive or non-exclusive terms.
*Giridharan GA, Skliar M, Olsen DB, Pantalos GM. (2002) Modeling and control of a brushless DC axial flow ventricular assist device. ASAIO J. 8(3):272-89.
Mikhail Skliar, Guruprasad Giridharan
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