A Physical Heart Failure Simulation System Utilizing the Total Artificial Heart and Modified Donovan Mock Circulation

Jessica R. Crosby, Katrina J. DeCook, Phat L. Tran, Edward Betterton, Richard G. Smith, Douglas F. Larson, Zain I. Khalpey, Daniel Burkhoff, Marvin J. Slepian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


With the growth and diversity of mechanical circulatory support (MCS) systems entering clinical use, a need exists for a robust mock circulation system capable of reliably emulating and reproducing physiologic as well as pathophysiologic states for use in MCS training and inter-device comparison. We report on the development of such a platform utilizing the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart and a modified Donovan Mock Circulation System, capable of being driven at normal and reduced output. With this platform, clinically relevant heart failure hemodynamics could be reliably reproduced as evidenced by elevated left atrial pressure (+112%), reduced aortic flow (−12.6%), blunted Starling-like behavior, and increased afterload sensitivity when compared with normal function. Similarly, pressure-volume relationships demonstrated enhanced sensitivity to afterload and decreased Starling-like behavior in the heart failure model. Lastly, the platform was configured to allow the easy addition of a left ventricular assist device (HeartMate II at 9600 RPM), which upon insertion resulted in improvement of hemodynamics. The present configuration has the potential to serve as a viable system for training and research, aimed at fostering safe and effective MCS device use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E52-E65
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Donovan mock circulation
  • Heart failure
  • Mechanical circulatory support
  • Physiologic simulation
  • Total artificial heart
  • Ventricular assist device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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