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Long-term durability test of axial-flow ventricular assist device under pulsatile flow

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  • Artificial Heart (Basic)
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A long-term durability test was conducted on a newly developed axial-flow ventricular assist device (VAD) with hydrodynamic bearings. The mock circulatory loop consisted of a diaphragm pump with a mechanical heart valve, a reservoir, a compliance tank, a resistance valve, and flow paths made of polymer or titanium. The VAD was installed behind the diaphragm pump. The blood analog fluid was a saline solution with added glycerin at a temperature of 37 °C. A pulsatile flow was introduced into the VAD over a range of flow rates to realize a positive flow rate and a positive pressure head at a given impeller rotational speed, yielding a flow rate of 5 L/min and a pressure of 100 mmHg. Pulsatile flow conditions were achieved with the diastolic and systolic flow rates of ~0 and 9.5 L/min, respectively, and an average flow rate of ~5 L/min at a pulse rate of 72 bpm. The VAD operation was judged by not only the rotational speed of the impeller, but also the diastolic, systolic, and average flow rates and the average pressure head of the VAD. The conditions of the mock circulatory loop, including the pulse rate of the diaphragm pump, the fluid temperature, and the fluid viscosity were maintained. Eight VADs were tested with testing periods of 2 years, during which they were continuously in operation. The VAD performance factors, including the power consumption and the vibration characteristics, were kept almost constant. The long-term durability of the developed VAD was successfully demonstrated.

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This study was financially supported partly by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and by the New Energy and Industrial Development Organization (NEDO).

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Correspondence to Masahiro Nishida.

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Nishida, M., Kosaka, R., Maruyama, O. et al. Long-term durability test of axial-flow ventricular assist device under pulsatile flow. J Artif Organs 20, 26–33 (2017).

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