Laser Doppler Anemometry measurements of mean (ensemble average) velocities and turbulent (Reynolds) stresses at 140 locations within the left ventricle of the Penn State 70 cc electric artificial heart/ventricular assist device are reported at 8 times during the cardiac cycle. Mean velocity patterns indicate that the surfaces of the blood sac and valve tracts are exposed to significant levels of wall shear stress (good wall washing) during some portion of the flow cycle, and there is no location where the flow is stagnant over the entire flow cycle. This implies that thrombus deposition within the artificial heart should be suppressed. Turbulent stresses in the main pumping chamber and the outflow tracts of the tilting disk valves do not exceed 2000 dynes/cm2. The highest turbulent stresses (20,000 dynes/cm2) and smallest turbulent microscales (6 μm) are found in the regurgitant jets on the minor orifice side of the aortic valve during diastole and the mitral valve during systole. Taken together, the data suggest that improvements in artificial heart fluid mechanics will come through valve design and pump operating conditions, not pumping chamber design.

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