, Volume 40, Issue 9, pp 1982-1995
Date: 17 Apr 2012

Flow Field of a Novel Implantable Valveless Counterpulsation Heart Assist Device

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Flow fields are one of the key factors associated with the life threatening formation of thrombi in artificial organs. Therefore, knowledge of flow field is crucial for the design and optimization of a long-term blood pump performance. The blood chamber flow of a novel counterpulsation heart assist device (CPD) has been investigated using laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV), particle image velocimetry (PIV), and near-wall PIV (wall-PIV). The wall-PIV is an in-house developed technique assessing wall shear rates (WSR). These experimental techniques analyzed complex transient three-dimensional (3D) flow fields including major and secondary structures during the whole CPD cycle (ejection, filling, and hold time). PIV measurements in the central plane investigated an evolution (development and destruction) of the blood chamber fully filling vortex as the major CPD flow structure. The wall-PIV measurements identified areas of blood stagnation (vortex center and jet impingements) and quantified WSR at the front housing. Maximal mean WSR of 2,045 ± 605 s−1 were found at the end of the filling. The LDV, which identified helical flow structure at the outer region of the pump, was used to complete 3D flow analysis and to combine PIV and wall-PIV results. The results suggest good washing behavior of the CPD regarding thrombus formation.

Associate Editor Kerry Hourigan oversaw the review of this article.