A mock heart engineered with helical aramid fibers for in vitro cardiovascular device testing

So-Hyun Jansen-Park 1 , Po-Lin Hsu 2 , Indra Müller 3 , Ulrich Steinseifer 3 , Dirk Abel 4 , Rüdiger Autschbach 5 , Rolf Rossaint 6 ,  and Thomas Schmitz-Rode 3
  • 1 Institute of Applied Medical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany, Phone: +49 24180 82144, Fax: +49 24180 88764
  • 2 Artificial Organ Technology Laboratory, Biomufacturing Centre, School of Mechanical and Electric Engineering, Soochow University, Jiangsu, China
  • 3 Institute of Applied Medical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  • 4 Institute of Automatic Control, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  • 5 Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, University Hospital Aachen, Aachen, Germany
  • 6 Department of Anesthesiology, University Hospital Aachen, Aachen, Germany
So-Hyun Jansen-Park, Po-Lin Hsu, Indra Müller, Ulrich Steinseifer, Dirk Abel, Rüdiger Autschbach, Rolf Rossaint and Thomas Schmitz-Rode

Abstract

Mock heart circulation loops (MHCLs) serve as in-vitro platforms to investigate the physiological interaction between circulatory systems and cardiovascular devices. A mock heart (MH) engineered with silicone walls and helical aramid fibers, to mimic the complex contraction of a natural heart, has been developed to advance the MHCL previously developed in our group. A mock aorta with an anatomical shape enables the evaluation of a cannulation method for ventricular assist devices (VADs) and investigation of the usage of clinical measurement systems like pressure-volume catheters. Ventricle and aorta molds were produced based on MRI data and cast with silicone. Aramid fibers were layered in the silicone ventricle to reproduce ventricle torsion. A rotating hollow shaft was connected to the apex enabling the rotation of the MH and the connection of a VAD. Silicone wall thickness, aramid fiber angle and fiber pitch were varied to generate different MH models. All MH models were placed in a tank filled with variable amounts of water and air simulating the compliance. In this work, physiological ventricular torsion angles (15°–26°) and physiological pressure-volume loops were achieved. This MHCL can serve as a comprehensive testing platform for cardiovascular devices, such as artificial heart valves and cannulation of VADs.

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