Design of Intermittent Control for Cortisol Secretion under Time-Varying Demand and Holding Cost Constraints

Hadi Taghvafard, Ming Cao, Yu Kawano, Rose T. Faghih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: We take the release of stress hormone cortisol as a part of an intermittent control feedback system in contrast to the existing continuous models. By modeling cortisol secretion as an impulsive system, we design an impulsive controller as opposed to a continuous controller for adjusting cortisol levels while maintaining the blood cortisol levels within bounds that satisfy circadian demand and cost constraints.

METHODS: We develop an analytical approach along with an algorithm for identifying both the timing and amplitude of the control.

RESULTS: The model and the algorithm are tested by two examples to illustrate that the proposed approach achieves impulsive control and that the obtained blood cortisol levels render the circadian rhythm and the ultradian rhythm consistent with the known physiology of cortisol secretion.

CONCLUSIONS: The approach successfully achieves the desired circadian impulsive control, which has great potential to be used in personalizing the medications in order to control the cortisol levels optimally.

SIGNIFICANCE: This type of bioinspired intermittent controllers can be employed for designing noncontinuous controllers in treating Addisonian disease, which is caused by the adrenal deficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8720043
Pages (from-to)556-564
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Mathematical modeling
  • algorithm
  • circadian rhythm
  • endocrine control
  • pulsatile control
  • Circadian Rhythm/physiology
  • Algorithms
  • Ultradian Rhythm/physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Humans
  • Feedback, Physiological/physiology
  • Hydrocortisone/blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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