Thrombus formation and hemolysis have been linked to the dynamics of blood flow in rotary blood pumps and ventricular assist devices. Hemolysis occurs as the blood passes through the pump housing, and thrombi develop in stagnation and low-velocity regions. The predicted velocities, pressure, and turbulence quantities from the numerical simulation are used to identify regions of high shear stress and internal recirculation. A numerical technique is described that simulates the hydrodynamic characteristics of a rotary blood pump with a flow rate of 6 1/min at a rotational speed of 3000 RPM. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code, CFX 4, is used to solve the time-dependent incompressible Navier-Stokes equations using a transient finite volume method and three-dimensional structured grids. The simulation utilized the sliding mesh capabilities of this numerical code to model the rotating impeller and examine the effect of blade shape on the hydrodynamic performance of the blood pump in terms of pressure rise, flow rates, and energy losses. The first impeller model has six straight channels; the second impeller has six backward-curved channels. The results for two impeller configurations are presented and discussed. The curvedpump design resulted in higher pressure rise and maximum shear stresses than the straight-channel one. In general the paper demonstrates that CFD is an essential numerical tool for optimizing pump performance with the aim of reducing trauma to the blood cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas