Applications of CFD for the design and evaluation of a novel viscous impeller heart pump
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is an essential tool in the design process for biomedical devices such as blood pumps. Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations can predict large-scale flow patterns and bulk parameters such as pressure changes from device inlet to outlet; these predictions can guide design decisions. A novel heart pump design, the viscous impeller pump or VIP, has been designed for patients suffering from hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart defect causing the malformation of a single ventricle of the heart. The VIP, when used in a percutaneously inserted device, must operate in patient-specific anatomy, and simulation results show reduced but still positive performance in these conditions compared to ideal geometry. A chronic implant device has also been proposed, and simulations demonstrate an increased pressure gain from the VIP device when an optimized housing is designed. A clearance gap between the rotor and stator is required, and simulations reveal the design is insensitive to radius of curvature and viscosity modelling in terms of total flow rate. The VIP head was also redesigned for the chronic implant device to produce the desired pressure gain at higher RPMs in order to improve expected motor efficiency. The interior volume of the VIP was also increased to accommodate a larger motor. The results of this work demonstrate the utility of RANS simulations in the design process, and have significantly advanced the design of the VIP devices.
Frankel, Purdue University.
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