Computational Fluid Dynamics as a Tool to Develop the Artificial Heart
Hemolysis tests, flow visualization, and the CFD analysis were carried out to examine the feasibility of the CFD analysis as a development tool to optimize the hemocompatibility of the centrifugal blood pump. The Nikkiso centrifugal blood pump was used as the standard model, and the pumps were tested with different values of two geometrical parameters. The studied parameters were radial gaps between the outer edge of the impeller vane and the casing wall and position of the outlet port. The effect of the narrow radial gap on hemolysis was consistent, with no evidence that the outlet port position caused blood trauma. Results of the CFD analysis and the flow visualization indicated similar flow characteristics in the outlet region. It is possible of determine the threshold level of shear stress required to produce blood trauma, based on the CFD analysis. This will enable us to define design criteria for the centrifugal blood pump.
KeywordsFlow Visualization Maximum Shear Stress Shear Stress Distribution Artificial Heart Computational Fluid Dynamic Analysis
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