Simulink Modelling for Simulating Intensive Care Mechanical Ventilators

Paolo Tamburrano, Pietro De Palma, Andrew R. Plummer, Elia Distaso, Riccardo Amirante

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


This paper proposes a modelling approach for simulating mechanical ventilators for intensive care units (ICUs). The shortage of ventilators during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has focused attention on their design and performance. The proposed modelling approach consists in using the Mathworks® Simulink software tool and the SimScape Fluids (gas) library, so as to use well-established subroutines to simulate all the pneumatic components of typical ventilators for ICUs, such as the pressure reducing valves, pressure relief valves, check valves, tanks, ON\OFF and proportional directional valves, etc. The patient is simulated by setting the values of lung compliance and pressure losses occurring in the trachea. The proposed modelling approach is used in this paper to simulate a pneumatic scheme employed in some commercial ventilators. The model allows a very accurate prediction of fundamental parameters, such as the inspiratory flow rate, the inspiratory pressure, the end-expiratory pressure. Since the software interface is user-friendly, it can easily be used by manufacturers to correctly choose the geometrical and operating parameters of the components during the design stage or to assess different scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Article number07007
JournalE3S Web of Conferences
Early online date22 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event75th National ATI Congress - #7 Clean Energy for all, ATI 2020 - Virtual, Online, Italy
Duration: 15 Sept 202016 Sept 2020


  • Intensive care
  • Mechanical ventilators
  • Simulink
  • Volume controlled ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Energy(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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