Bionic ventricular
volume sensor​
   
In patients with chronic left heart failure, the left ventricular volume will increase. Left heart failure leads to pulmonary congestion which results in clinical symptom of dyspnea. The extent of left ventricular dilatation is related to the severity of left heart failure. To monitor the progress of the disease an implantable ventricular volume sensor is highly desirable. If the ventricle is severely compromised, implantation of a left ventricular assist device (L-VAD) is necessary. In currently available L-VADs, equipped with a continuous flow pumps, no feedback is present to automatically adjust the flow level. In case the speed of the pump is low with respect to the actual need of the patient, the ventricle is not depleted properly and the ventricular volume increases. In the opposite case, the depletion is too severe and the two walls of the ventricle may collapse. Different volume sensors are described in the scientific literature, but there is a substantial lack of implantable sensors.The scope of our research is to test a new principle for implantable bionic ventricular volume sensors. The new sensors are minimally invasive and can exploit existing medical procedures and devices, could be used to monitor patients with chronic heart failure, or to inform the controller of an L-VAD. With proper volume measurements, the L-VAD controller could adjust the speed of the pump to fit the patient’s needs and optimize the ventricular volume.
    
Pig Heart, Animal Experiments