From Particle Flow to Saved Lives: How Simulation Supports Non-Thrombogenic Artificial Heart Design

Created in June 2008, CARMAT SA is an innovative medtech start-up developing a totally implantable artificial heart which features a left and a right ventricle, biocompatible materials for all blood-contacting surfaces and embedded electronics providing real-time adjustment to the physiologic needs of the patient in terms of cardiac output. Its hi-tech design seeks to make the device as similar as possible to the human heart.

The CARMAT project has been spun off of the collaboration between Professor Carpentier, known throughout the world for inventing Carpentier-Edwards® heart valves and for his work on biological tissue treatment, and the technological expertise of EADS, world aerospace leader with an extensive experience of embedded systems.

The project is based on 15 years of development experience. One area of expertise is haemodynamics, the study of blood movement. The haemodynamics within the ventricular cavities is critical to avoid damaging the blood or leaving “unwashed” areas where blood would stagnate and blood clots could appear.

The haemodynamics has been studied through various models and simulations, which helped visualize the potential stresses generated by the membrane and its movements as well as the areas with a very slow blood flow (stasis). Based on these simulations, the internal shape of both left and right ventricular cavities was optimized to promote an extensive washing of the cavities at each cycle and to avoid stasis.

The Author

Pierre Da Cruz Louro