Channel impeller design for centrifugal blood pump in hybrid pediatric total artificial heart: Modeling, magnet integration, and hydraulic experiments.

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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this research is to address ongoing device shortfalls for pediatric patients by developing a novel pediatric hybrid total artificial heart (TAH). The valveless magnetically-levitated MCS device (Dragon Heart) has only two moving parts, integrates an axial and centrifugal blood pump into a single device, and will occupy a compact footprint within the chest for the pediatric patient population.

METHODS: Prior work on the Dragon Heart focused on the development of pump designs to achieve hemodynamic requirements. The impeller of these pumps was shaft-driven and thus could not be integrated for testing. The presented research leverages an existing magnetically levitated axial flow pump and focuses on centrifugal pump development. Using the axial pump diameter as a geometric constraint, a shaftless, magnetically supported centrifugal pump was designed for placement circumferentially around the axial pump domain. The new design process included the computational analysis of more than 50 potential centrifugal impeller geometries. The resulting centrifugal pump designs were prototyped and tested for levitation and no-load rotation, followed by in vitro testing using a blood analog. To meet physiologic demands, target performance goals were pressure rises exceeding 90 mm Hg for flow rates of 1-5 L/min with operating speeds of less than 5000 RPM.

RESULTS: Three puck-shaped, channel impellers for the centrifugal blood pump were selected based on achieving performance and space requirements for magnetic integration. A quasi-steady flow analysis revealed that the impeller rotational position led to a pulsatile component in the pressure generation. After prototyping, the centrifugal prototypes (3, 4, and 5 channeled designs) demonstrated levitation and no-load rotation. Hydraulic experiments established pressure generation capabilities beyond target requirements. The pressure-flow performance of the prototypes followed expected trends with a dependence on rotational speed. Pulsatile blood flow was observed without pump-speed modulation due to rotating channel passage frequency.

CONCLUSION: The results are promising in the advancement of this pediatric TAH. The channeled impeller design creates pressure-flow curves that are decoupled from the flow rate, a benefit that could reduce the required controller inputs and improve treatment of hypertensive patients.

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Artificial organs





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