The paper presents a hybrid (hydro-numerical) circulatory model built to be used as a complementary tool for clinical purposes. It was developed at the Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering - Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland) in co-operation with the Institute of Clinical Physiology - National Council of Research (Italy). Main advantages of the model are: 1) high accuracy and repeatability of parameters setting, characteristic of numerical solutions, 2) maximum flexibility achieved by implementing the largest possible number of the model’s elements in the numerical way, 3) ability to test mechanical heart assist devices provided by special computer applications; in the model two physically different signal environments - numerical and hydraulic - are connected by special impedance transformers interfacing physical and numerical parts of the model; 4) eliminating flowmeters, as the voltage controlled flow sources embedded in the system provide information on flows.
In vitro tests were performed to evaluate the circulatory model: a) modelling and simulation of physiological and pathological states parameters vs. left ventricular end-systolic elastance (Emax l) and rest volume (Vol) variations, b) testing the effect of LVAD counterpulsation on circulatory hemodynamics and ventricular energetics; it resulted in the increase of total cardiac output (COLV tot) from pathological value 3.8 to 5.4 l·min−1, mean aortic pressure mPas from 67.8 to 96.1 mmHg and in the decrease of left atrial pressure mPla from 15.7 to 7.7 mmHg and External Work nEW by 37.5%. The model was verified based on literature data.
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