Document Type


Date of Award

Winter 1-31-1994

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)


Biomedical Engineering Committee

First Advisor

Clarence W. Mayott

Second Advisor

Shlomo Gabbay

Third Advisor

David S. Kristol


The primary purpose of this project was to develop an in vitro environment in which the intraaortic and extra-aortic balloon pumps could be tested and evaluated. This was done by modifying a mechanical heart simulator -- the pulse duplicator system -- to accommodate both devices, and developing a software system that could collect and process the data relevant to the operation of the two balloons.

Both counterpulsation techniques were tested in the pulse duplicator where the aortic pressure and flow data were collected. The software system then processes the data to calculate all of the parameters affected by counterpulsation.

While the results produced were not overly conclusive, there were some trends which were noted. While neither device demonstrated a more dominant effect on the mean systolic pressure, the extraaortic balloon appeared to have a more beneficial effect on the end diastolic pressure, stroke volume, and cardiac output.

Since the pulse duplicator is a mechanical simulation of the human cardiac cycle, it does have its limitations. Future tests should be conducted with proper modifications made to the pulse duplicator. More extensive testing could reveal the extraaortic balloon pump to be a much more effective device for counterpulsation than the intraaortic balloon pump.



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