Synergistic model of cardiac function with a heart assist device

Eun-jin Kim, Massimo Capoccia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


The breakdown of cardiac self-organization leads to heart diseases and failure, the number one cause of death worldwide. The left ventricular pressure–volume relation plays a key role in the diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases. Lumped-parameter models combined with pressure–volume loop analysis are very effective in simulating clinical scenarios with a view to treatment
optimization and outcome prediction. Unfortunately, often invoked in this analysis is the traditional, time-varying elastance concept, in which the ratio of the ventricular pressure to its volume is prescribed by a periodic function of time, instead of being calculated consistently according to the change in feedback mechanisms (e.g., the lack or breakdown of self-organization)
in heart diseases. Therefore, the application of the time-varying elastance for the analysis of left ventricular assist device (LVAD)–heart interactions has been questioned. We propose a paradigm shift from the time-varying elastance concept to a synergistic model of cardiac function by integrating the mechanical, electric, and chemical activity on microscale sarcomere and macroscale
heart levels and investigating the effect of an axial rotary pump on a failing heart. We show that our synergistic model works better than the time-varying elastance model in reproducing LVAD–heart interactions with sufficient accuracy to describe the left ventricular pressure–volume relation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2019


  • cardiac function
  • modeling
  • self-organization
  • lumped-parameter model
  • left ventricular pressure–volume relation
  • LVAD


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