Multiscale Analysis of the interactions between a Novel Total Artificial Heart and the Native Cardiovascular System

Project: UK industry

Project Details

Description

50% contribution to a PhD studentship (with the other 50% from the Faculty EPSRC DTP)

Layman's description

For patients with severe end-stage heart failure the only hope of long term survival is a heart transplant. However, donor hearts are scarce, and not available for all who need them. Some patients may be supported by Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) but patients with both right and left ventricle failure need two VADs, greatly increasing the risks of complications. An alternative is a Total Artificial Heart (TAH), a mechanical device to completely replace the native heart. Only one such TAH is currently available, and it suffers from a number of issues. Scandinavian Real Heart AB are developing a TAH with a completely novel pumping concept: based on the function of the native heart the Realheart TAH uses the motion of an atrio-ventricular valve plane to pump blood. It is hypothesized that this use of positive displacement, rather than rotation, for pumping, has major advantages compared to other TAHs in development. Firstly, significantly lower shear stresses will be exerted on the blood, and secondly a pulse will be created in the major arteries, mimicking the native heart. These two hypothesized major advantages will be investigated in this PhD project. Additional benefits of the Realheart TAH over competitor devices include the use of electrical, rather than pneumatic actuation, which means a patient is not required to be connected to an air compressor, massively reducing the risk of infection due to a smaller wound exit site for the percutaneous driveline, as well as increasing the patient's mobility.
There are two major aims of this project:
1. Use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in combination with numerical models for red blood cell damage, in order to investigate the impact of different operating conditions, and design changes, on haemolysis created by the novel TAH.
2. Create a 1-dimensional model of the major arteries and use it to compare pulse propagation with three different inputs: native heart, the novel TAH, and a rotary VAD.
Short title£36,350
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/09/201/03/24

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