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Artif Organs. 2000 Jun;24(6):483-7.

Fluid dynamic characteristics of the VentrAssist rotary blood pump.

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University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.


The VentrAssist pump has no shaft or seal, and the device is unique in design because the rotor is suspended passively by hydrodynamic forces, and urging is accomplished by an integrated direct current motor rotor that also acts as the pump impeller. This device has led to many challenges in its fluidic design, namely large flow-blockage from impeller blades, low stiffness of bearings with concomitant impeller displacement under pulsatile load conditions, and very small running clearances. Low specific speed and radial blade off-flow were selected in order to minimize the hemolysis. Pulsatile and steady-flow tests show the impeller is stable under normal operating conditions. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been used to optimize flow paths and reduce net axial force imbalance to acceptably small values. The latest design of the pump achieved a system efficiency of 18% (in 30% hematocrit of red blood cells suspended in phosphate-buffered saline), and efficiency was optimized over the range of operating conditions. Parameters critical to improving pump efficiency were investigated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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