Publications of Untaroiu, Alexandrina
Published in 2005
Thousands of cardiac failure patients per year in the United States could benefit from long-term mechanical circulatory support as destination therapy. To provide an improvement over currently available devices, we have designed a fully implantable axial-flow ventricular assist device with a magnetically levitated impeller (LEV-VAD). In contrast to currently available devices, the LEV-VAD has an unobstructed blood flow path and no secondary flow regions, generating substantially less retrograde and stagnant flow.
The pump design included the extensive use of conventional pump design equations and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling for predicting pressure-flow curves, hydraulic efficiencies, scalar fluid stress levels, exposure times to such stress, and axial fluid forces exerted on the impeller for the suspension design. Flow performance testing was completed on a plastic prototype of the LEV-VAD for comparison with the CFD predictions. Animal fit trials were completed to determine optimum pump location and cannulae configuration for future acute and long-term animal implantations, providing additional insight into the LEV-VAD configuration and implantability.
Per the CFD results, the LEV-VAD produces 6 l/min and 100 mm Hg at a rotational speed of approximately 6300 rpm for steady flow conditions. The pressure-flow performance predictions demonstrated the VAD's ability to deliver adequate flow over physiologic pressures for reasonable rotational speeds with best efficiency points ranging from 25% to 30%. The CFD numerical estimations generally agree within 10% of the experimental measurements over the entire range of rotational speeds tested. Animal fit trials revealed that the LEV-VAD's size and configuration were adequate, requiring no alterations to cannulae configurations for future animal testing. These acceptable performance results for LEV-VAD design support proceeding with manufacturing of a prototype for extensive mock loop and initial acute animal testing.
Published in 2005
Thousands of adult cardiac failure patients may benefit from the availability of an effective, long-term ventricular assist device (VAD). We have developed a fully implantable, axial flow VAD (LEV-VAD) with a magnetically levitated impeller as a viable option for these patients. This pump's streamlined and unobstructed blood flow path provides its unique design and facilitates continuous washing of all surfaces contacting blood. One internal fluid contacting region, the diffuser, is extremely important to the pump's ability to produce adequate pressure but is challenging to manufacture, depending on the complex blade geometries.
This study examines the influence of the diffuser on the overall LEV-VAD performance. A combination of theoretical analyses, computational fluid (CFD) simulations, and experimental testing was performed for three different diffuser models: six-bladed, three-bladed, and no-blade configuration. The diffuser configurations were computationally and experimentally investigated for flow rates of 2–10 L/min at rotational speeds of 5000–8000 rpm. For these operating conditions, CFD simulations predicted the LEV-VAD to deliver physiologic pressures with hydraulic efficiencies of 15–32%. These numerical performance results generally agreed within 10% of the experimental measurements over the entire range of rotational speeds tested.
Maximum scalar stress levels were estimated to be 450 Pa for 6 L/min at 8000 rpm along the blade tip surface of the impeller. Streakline analysis demonstrated maximum fluid residence times of 200 ms with a majority of particles exiting the pump in 80 ms. Axial fluid forces remained well within counter force generation capabilities of the magnetic suspension design. The no-bladed configuration generated an unacceptable hydraulic performance. The six-diffuser-blade model produced a flow rate of 6 L/min against 100 mm Hg for 6000 rpm rotational speed, while the three-diffuser-blade model produced the same flow rate and pressure rise for a rotational speed of 6500 rpm. The three-bladed diffuser configuration was selected over the six-bladed, requiring only an incremental adjustment in revolution per minute to compensate for and ease manufacturing constraints. The acceptable results of the computational simulations and experimental testing encourage final prototype manufacturing for acute and chronic animal studies.
Keywords: Blood pump; Left ventricular assist device (LVAD); Mechanical circulatory support (MCS); Axial flow blood pump; Artificial heart pump
Published in 2005
Millions of patients, from infants to adults, are diagnosed with congestive heart failure each year all over the world. A limited number of donor hearts available for these patients results in a tremendous demand for alternative, supplemental circulatory support in the form of artificial heart pumps or ventricular assist devices (VADs). The development procedure for such a device requires careful consideration of biophysical factors, such as biocompatibility, haemolysis, thrombosis, implantability, physiologic control feasibility and pump performance. Conventional pump design equations based on Newton's law and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) are readily used for the initial design of VADs. In particular, CFD can be employed to predict the pressure-flow performance, hydraulic efficiencies, flow profile through the pump, stress levels and biophysical factors, such as possible blood cell damage. These computational flow simulations may involve comprehensive steady and transient flow analyses. The transient simulations involve time-varying boundary conditions and virtual modelling of the impeller rotation in the blood pumps. After prototype manufacture, laser flow measurements with sophisticated optics and mock circulatory flow loop testing assist with validation of pump design and identification of irregular flow patterns for optimization. Additionally, acute and chronic animal implants illustrate the blood pump's ability to support life physiologically. These extensive design techniques, coupled with fundamental principles of physics, ensure a reliable and effective VAD for thousands of heart failure patients each year.