Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Gerald Miller


A systemic mock circulatory loop plays a pivotal role as the in vitro assessment tool for left heart medical devices. The standard design employed by many research groups dates to the early 1970's, and lacks the acuity needed for the advanced device designs currently being explored. The necessity to update the architecture of this in vitro tool has become apparent as the historical design fails to deliver the performance needed to simulate conditions and events that have been clinically identified as challenges for future device designs. In order to appropriately deliver the testing solution needed, a comprehensive evaluation of the functionality demanded must be understood. The resulting system is a fully automated systemic mock circulatory loop, inclusive of anatomical geometries at critical flow sections, and accompanying software tools to execute precise investigations of cardiac device performance. Delivering this complete testing solution will be achieved through three research aims: (1) Utilization of advanced physical modeling tools to develop a high fidelity computational model of the in vitro system. This model will enable control design of the logic that will govern the in vitro actuators, allow experimental settings to be evaluated prior to execution in the mock circulatory loop, and determination of system settings that replicate clinical patient data. (2) Deployment of a fully automated mock circulatory loop that allows for runtime control of all the settings needed to appropriately construct the conditions of interest. It is essential that the system is able to change set point on the fly; simulation of cardiovascular dynamics and event sequences require this functionality. The robustness of an automated system with incorporated closed loop control logic yields a mock circulatory loop with excellent reproducibility, which is essential for effective device evaluation. (3) Incorporating anatomical geometry at the critical device interfaces; ascending aorta and left atrium. These anatomies represent complex shapes; the flows present in these sections are complex and greatly affect device performance. Increasing the fidelity of the local flow fields at these interfaces delivers a more accurate representation of the device performance in vivo.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2013