Reserve-driven flow control for extracorporeal life support: proof of principle

A. P. Simons*, K. D. Reesink, M. D. Lance, T. van der Nagel, F. H. van der Veen, P. W. Weerwind, J. G. Maessen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Extracorporeal life support systems lack volume-buffering capacity. Therefore, any decrease in venous intravascular volume available for drainage may result in acutely reduced support flow. We recently developed a method to quantify drainable volume and now conceived a reserve-driven pump control strategy, which is different from existing pressure or flow servo control schemes. Here, we give an outline of the algorithm and present animal experimental data showing proof of principle. With an acute reduction in circulatory volume (10-15%), pump flow immediately dropped from 4.1 to 1.9 l/min. Our pump control algorithm was able to restore bypass flow to 3.2 l/min (about 80% of the original level) and, thereby, reduced the duration of the low-flow condition. This demonstrates that a reserve-driven pump control strategy, based on the continuous monitoring of drainable volume, may maintain extracorporeal circulatory support flow, despite serious changes in filling conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-29
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • ECMO
  • extracorporeal circulation
  • servo regulation
  • venous return
  • centrifugal pump


Dive into the research topics of 'Reserve-driven flow control for extracorporeal life support: proof of principle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this