Three-Dimensional Computational Modeling of an Extra-Descending Aortic Assist Device Using Fluid-Structure Interaction

A. Heidari, S. Rahmani, C. Pop, B. Saed, A. Mahpour, M. Navidbakhsh, M. Alizadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Background: The incidence of heart failure is anticipated to rise by 2030, resulting in more than 8 million adults with this condition in US. Despite the advancement in pharmacological and surgical treatments, some patients progress to severe forms of cardiac dysfunction requiring cardiac transplantation as a last-resort treatment. Cardiac assist devices play an essential role in the recovery of normal cardiac performance through reversible remodeling or in assisting the weak organ to prolong survival rate. However, these devices need to be monitored carefully, as prolonged use may lead to physiological maladaptation and further cardiac complications. The optimization of such devices has done through the development and use of numerical simulations that allow the analysis of in-vivo hemodynamic patterns of blood flow. This study aims to investigate the performance of a model of extra-aortic assist device surrounding the descending aorta through three-dimensional patient-specific modeling. Methods: A three-dimensional model of the aorta was constructed from patient-specific cardiac CT images of a 60-year-old male diagnosed with left ventricular failure at the Tehran Heart Center (THC). Numerical simulation was conducted for two complete cardiac cycles using fluid-structure interaction (FSI) analysis under the assumption that the balloon and the aortic vessel behave as linear elastic materials, and that blood is a Newtonian and incompressible fluid. Results: The numerical simulation demonstrated a high correlation between the FSI analysis and clinical data of the patient-specific anatomical and physiological conditions. Blood velocity, pressure, deformation, and strain contours were simulated and analyzed through three-dimensional modeling. Compared to the unassisted aorta, the device provided an increase in blood flow displacement of an additional 15 ml of blood in the descending aorta, brachiocephalic, carotid, and subclavian arteries. The maximum von Mises stress distribution across the aortic vessel was higher than the stress imposed on the system in the unassisted heart, with values of 3.3 MPa and 0.28 MPa, respectively. Numerical investigation of structural responses revealed that no remarkable force was exerted on the aortic valve by the device at the descending aorta. Conclusion: We present the numerical investigation of a counterpulsation device around the descending aorta that has not previously been tested on human or animal models. While this extra-aortic balloon pump (EABP) did not show a significant improvement in coronary perfusion, there is room for improvement in further studies to optimize the geometry of the balloon. Additional investigations are required to determine the efficacy of this device and its safety before in-vivo experimental studies are pursued. This simulation has clinical relevance when choosing an appropriate cardiac assist device to address patient-specific physiological and pathological conditions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalI R B M
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)35-47
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Extra-descending aortic balloon pump
  • Hemodynamic patterns
  • Left ventricular failure
  • Fluid-structure interaction (FSI)
  • Balloon’s inflation and deflation


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