A new continuous flow ventricular assist device (CFVAD III) using a full magnetic suspension has been constructed. The magnetic suspension centers the centrifugal impeller within the clearance passages in the pump, thus avoiding any contact. This noncontact operation gives very high expected mechanical reliability, large clearances, low hemolysis, low thrombosis, and relatively small size compared with current pulsatile devices. A unique configuration of a system of magnetic actuators on the inlet side and exit sides of the impeller gives full five axis control and suspension of the impeller. The bearing system is divided into segments that allow for three displacement axes and two angular control axes. For the first suspension tests, a decentralized set of proportional, derivative, and integral (PID) controllers acting along the modal coordinates are used to suspend the impeller. The controller design takes into account the blood forces acting on the magnetically suspended impeller, the unbalance forces on the impeller and gravitational loads during various body motions. In the final design, the bearing control axes will be coupled together through fluidic forces so the electronic feedback controller is a centralized multiple input, multiple output controller. The control system design must be robust against these types of externally imposed loads to keep the impeller centered and avoid blood damage. This article discusses the dynamic model, controller, and controller implementation for the magnetic suspension controller of CFVAD III. ASAIO Journal 1997; 43:M598-M603.
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