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Keywords:

  • Inner flow;
  • Centrifugal blood pump;
  • Simulation;
  • Shear stress

Abstract:  Implantable ventricular assist devices have been regarded as a promising instrument in the clinical treatment of patients with severe heart failures. In this article, a three-dimensional model of the Kyoto-NTN magnetically suspended centrifugal blood pump was generated and a computational fluid dynamics solution of the inner flow field of the pump including the static pressure distributions, velocity profiles, and the shear stress distributions of the blood was presented. The results revealed that reverse flow generally occurred in the impeller blade channels during the operation of the pump, due to the imbalance of the flow and the pressure gradient generated in the blade channels. The flow pattern at the exit of the blade channels was varying with its angular positions in the pump. The reverse flow at the exit of the impeller blade channels was found to be closely related with the static pressure distribution in the volute passage. Higher pressure in the volute caused severe backflow from the volute into the blade channels. To clarify the effects of a moving impeller on the blood, shear stresses of the blood in the pump were investigated according to the simulation results. The studies indicated that at the beginning of the splitter plate and the cutwater, the highest shear stress exceeded 700 Pa. At other regions such as the inlet and outlet of the impeller blade channels and some regions in the volute passage, shear stresses were found to be about 200 Pa. These areas are believed to have a high possibility of rendering blood trauma.