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ASAIO J. 2002 Sep-Oct;48(5):552-61.

Computational fluid dynamics modeling of impeller designs for the HeartQuest left ventricular assist device.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22904, USA.


To finalize the design of the next generation of the HeartQuest left ventricular assist device, a suitable impeller had to be designed and tested. The new prototype was based on calculations and test results of previous designs, but required several changes to decrease the size. For most pump designs, this is a simple matter of altering impeller geometry and rotational speed to achieve the desired pressure rise and flow rate. However, this particular pump was limited by housing geometry and the magnetic bearings that support the impeller. Without much freedom in the overall impeller size, the only parameters open to the designers were the blade profiles and the rotating speed. Rather than build several candidates and test them in a rig at enormous cost, computational models of several designs were tested and analyzed. This not only saved money, but also sped up the development time for the project. The computer models were developed in TASCflow, a computational fluid dynamics software package from AEA Technologies. This paper analyzes the data from several of the selected models, paying close attention to pumping performance and general trends from specific design changes.

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