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NI announces NIDays award winners

10 December 2010

David Keeling and Ali Alazmani from the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds have won this year's NIDays 2010 Graphical System Design Case Study Contest. Dr Keeling and Mr Alazmani accepted the award for the winning paper, on behalf of their colleagues at the University and Leeds General Infirmary, who developed an intelligent, mechanical heart simulator or Ventricular Assist Device.

The simulator is an artificial muscle wrap that assists a failing heart by applying compressive force, synchronous to the native rhythm, around the external surface of the heart’s ventricles. This cyclic 'squeezing' action augments heart muscle efforts, leading to an improved output for the diseased heart.

The team created a hardware-in-the-loop heart simulator that combines a real-time software blood flow model with a physical 3D mechanical heart. They used NI LabVIEW graphical programming environment and NI CompactRIO to enhance the testing environment so the heart simulator could operate as a stand-alone system and run reliably for prolonged periods of time.

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