Joint project LastVAD


Validation of a Ventricular assist device for targeted load adjustment

Supported by the European Regional Development Fund

Key Info

Basic Information

01.01.2018 to 31.12.2020
Biomedical Systems



Tim Redick

Mobility Group Manager


+49 241 80-27481




Current ventricular assist devices exclusively use a pump connected in parallel to the heart to relieve its workload. While adjusting the hydraulic load on the heart can be achieved with a single control variable, it simultaneously adversely affects the complex cardiovascular system in other aspects. In this project, up to three heart support pumps will be used simultaneously to independently adjust the hydraulic loads on the heart.


Project Goals and Methods

The goal of this project is the prototypical implementation and validation of a novel heart support system. Unlike previous systems, the new system enables precise adjustment of the hydraulic load on the heart. This allows for optimal relief for a diseased heart and promotes self-healing of the affected cardiac tissue. The greatest challenge in the implementation lies in developing the control methods to be used and selecting appropriate control variables. In addition to model-based approaches such as Model Predictive Control and optimal control, the project will also explore model-free approaches like Iterative Learning Control. The developed hardware will be modular and can find applications beyond the project's duration in research projects.


Innovations and Perspectives

The use of multiple heart support pumps together in various configurations is a unique feature of our research group. This concept allows for targeted and isolated manipulation of the load to determine an optimal relief strategy for cardiac tissue self-healing, in contrast to conventional setups. Additionally, a defined cardiac load can be useful in the evaluation of other medical devices (e.g., stents, artificial heart valves, vascular prostheses) and in pharmacological studies using (animal) experiments. The novel heart support system enables precise application of different load conditions in a reversible manner. Therefore, the demand and market potential for such a heart support system are considered to be very high.