Simulation Notes Europe, Volume 23(2), August 2013

Simulating Aortic Blood Flow and Pressure by an Optimal Control Model

Simulation Notes Europe SNE 23(2), 2013, 101-106
DOI: 10.11128/


Parameters derived from aortic pressure and flow waves are considered to be important indicators of cardiovascular risk. To reduce the measurement effort, validated methods already exist to transfer non-invasively assessed peripheral blood pressure curves to central ones. In this work, an optimal control model is introduced, which could potentially be used to simulate the corresponding ejection from the heart. It is based on the well-established three-element Windkessel model of the arterial system, coupled with an optimality criterion. The resulting optimal control problem was solved in part symbolically, in part numerically and simulation experiments were performed to investigate the capability of the model to generate pathophysiological flow and pres-sure patterns with meaningful parameter values. Moreover, the sensitivity of the model to variations in the pa-rameters, that were considered relevant for the use as a blood flow model, was analysed. The results show that it is indeed possible to simulate realistic flow and pressure waves for parameters within the pathophysiological range of humans. Moreover, the sensitivity analysis indi-cates that parameter identification based on a pressure measurement might be possible. Overall, the model shows a big potential for the simulation of blood flow based on pressure alone.