The human cardiovascular system is extremely complex. The heart pumps blood into arteries, which subdivide into a finer and finer network of capillaries that supply oxygen and fuel and carry away waste products from the body’s tissues, and then recombine into veins that return the blood to the heart. A second loop sends blood through the lungs for oxygenation. SysML Internal Block Diagrams are an efficient way to capture network structure in the context of the larger healthcare domain, but simulation tools like Simulink may be more appropriate for analyzing blood flow, oxygenation rates and other biological processes.

Using Syndeia, a multi-level connectivity model of the cardiovascular system in SysML can be converted to a Simulink block structure in a single action. The figures below show an example from one of the intermediate levels, where the main circulation path, starting in the aorta and ending in the superior and inferior vena cava veins, is shown as both a MagicDraw and a Simulink model. Creating the MATLAB code for an executable Simulink model is beyond the scope of this example. Our goal is to use Syndeia to generate the Simulink model and maintain the connections between the model elements in the two tools, so that structural divergences can be recognized as the modelers in each domain carry out their activities.

This example illustrates only one corner of the larger healthcare domain, using Model-Based Engineering (MBE) approaches to tie together disparate models and software tools. In our recent whitepaper Applications of MBE for Healthcare (download link), we describe other examples in healthcare delivery, healthcare information systems and medical device design – some of these examples to be highlighted in future blog posts.

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Main Circulation SysML IBD

Main Circulation SysML IBD

Main Circulation Simulink Block Diagram

Main Circulation Simulink Block Diagram

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Dirk Zwemer

Dirk Zwemer

Dr. Dirk Zwemer (dirk.zwemer@intercax.com) is President of Intercax LLC (Atlanta, GA), a supplier of MBE engineering software platforms like Syndeia and ParaMagic. He is an active teacher and consultant in the field and holds Level 4 Model Builder-Advanced certification as an OMG System Modeling Professional.