Medical device companies that aim to sell catheters with pressure sensing elements need a way to test their systems during the design phase. An example of one of these products is an Intra-aortic Balloon Pump (IABP) which provides mechanical pumping assistance to a patient experiencing cardiogenic shock.
To test these devices, companies will place the assembly in controlled pressure chamber to examine the response to pressure changes. However, commercially available systems are cost prohibitive.
To solve this problem, a custom, low-cost, pneumatic catheter test chamber was designed and built to provide a benchtop platform for experimentation.
In order to control the chamber pressure, the electromechanical system utilizes feedback control and solenoid valves controlled by an Arduino microcontroller. Since pneumatic systems exhibit nonlinear behavior, a novel control method was used to implement proportional-integral control and simulate the pressure profile experienced in the human body.