Finite element driven design domain identification of a beating left ventricular simulator
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Almost ten percent of the American population have heart diseases. Since the number of available heart donors is not promising, left ventricular assist devices are implemented as bridge therapies. Development of the assist devices benefits from both in-vivo animal and in-vitro mock circulation studies. Representation of the heart is a crucial part of the mock circulation setups. Recently, a beating left ventricular simulator with latex rubber and helically oriented McKibben actuators has been proposed. The simulator was able to mimic heart wall motion, however, flow rate was reported to be limited to 2 liters per minute. This study offers a finite element driven design domain identification to identify the combination of wall thickness, number of actuators, and the orientation angle that results in better deformation. A nonlinear finite element model of the simulator was developed and validated. Design domain was constructed with 150 finite element models, each with varying wall thickness and number of actuators with varying orientation angles. Results showed that the combination of 4 mm wall thickness and 8 actuators with 90 degrees orientation performed best in the design domain.