Outflow control for avoiding atrial suction in a continuous flow total artificial heart

Paul S. Olegario, Makoto Yoshizawa, Akira Tanaka, Ken Ichi Abe, Hiroshi Takeda, Tomoyuki Yambe, Shin Ichi Nitta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Continuous flow blood pumps, such as axial flow and centrifugal pumps, have been gaining interest as circulatory devices for total artificial hearts (TAHs) because of their smaller size and simpler structure compared to pulsatile pumps. However, continuous flow pumps are more prone to atrial wall suction than pulsatile pumps are. Sudden increases in flow rate to meet changes in physiological demand, especially in the left pump, often cause atrial wall suction. In this study, a control algorithm to prevent atrial wall suction from occurring in the left atrium by controlling the rotational speed of the right pump, instead of reducing the cardiac output of the left pump, was developed and investigated. The method was tested in a mock circulatory system and in acute animal experiments with adult goats. Two centrifugal pumps were used to totally replace the circulatory function of the natural heart. The cardiac output of each pump was determined independently by a control algorithm running on a computer connected through a serial interface to the pump driving units. Results showed that left atrial wall suction could be prevented using this method, and that the method could be performed simultaneously with physiological control of the artificial heart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-98
Number of pages7
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Atrial suction
  • Automatic control
  • Continuous flow
  • Total artificial heart

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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