Particle-image velocimetry (PIV) was used to visualize the flow within an optically transparent pediatric ventricular assist device (PVAD) under development in our laboratory. The device studied is a diaphragm type pulsatile pump with an ejection volume of 30 ml per beating cycle intended for temporary cardiac assistance as a bridge to transplantation or recovery in children. Of particular interest was the identification of flow patterns, including regions of stagnation and/or strong turbulence that often promote thrombus formation and hemolysis, which can degrade the usefulness of such devices. For this purpose, phase-locked PIV measurements were performed in planes parallel to the diaphram that drives the flow in the device. The test fluid was seeded with polystyrene spheres, and the motion of these particles was used to determine the instantaneous flow velocity distribution in the illumination plane. These measurements revealed that flow velocities up to 1.0 m/s can occur within the PVAD. Phase-averaged velocity fields revealed the fixed vortices that drive the bulk flow within the device, though significant cycle-to-cycle variability was also quite apparent in the instantaneous velocity distributions, most notably during the filling phase. This cycle-to-cycle variability can generate strong turbulence that may contribute to greater hemolysis. Stagnation regions have also been observed between the input and output branches of the prototype, which can increase the likelihood of thrombus formation.
Particle-Image Velocimetry Study of a Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device
Ferrara, E., Muramatsu, M., Christensen, K. T., and Cestari, I. A. (May 18, 2010). "Particle-Image Velocimetry Study of a Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device." ASME. J Biomech Eng. July 2010; 132(7): 071004. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4001252
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