The lack of direct measurement of left ventricular unloading is a significant impediment to the development of an automatic speed control system for continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (cf-LVADs). We have developed an inlet cannula tip for cf-LVADs with integrated electrodes for volume sensing based on conductance. Four platinum-iridium ring electrodes were installed into grooves on a cannula body constructed from polyetheretherketone (PEEK). A sinusoidal current excitation waveform (250 μA pk-pk, 50 kHz) was applied across one pair of electrodes, and the conductance-dependent voltage was sensed across the second pair of electrodes. The conductance catheter was tested in an acute ovine model (n = 3) in conjunction with the HeartMate II rotary blood pump to provide circulatory support and unload the ventricle. Echocardiography was used to measure ventricular size during pump support for verification for the conductance measurements. The conductance measurements correlated linearly with the echocardiography dimension measurements more than the full range of pump support from minimum support to suction. This cannula tip will enable the development of automatic control systems to optimize pump support based on a real-time measurement of ventricular size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-323
Number of pages6
JournalASAIO journal (American Society for Artificial Internal Organs : 1992)
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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