Computational characterization of flow and hemolytic performance of the UltraMag blood pump for circulatory support

M Ertan Taskin, Katharine H Fraser, Tao Zhang, Barry Gellman, Andi Fleischli, Kurt A Dasse, Bartley P Griffith, Zhongjun J Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (SciVal)


The Levitronix UltraMag blood pump is a next generation, magnetically suspended centrifugal pump and is designed to provide circulatory support for pediatric and adult patients. The aim of this study is to investigate the hemodynamic and hemolytic characteristics of this pump using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach. The computational domain for CFD analysis was constructed from the three-dimensional geometry (3D) of the UltraMag blood pump and meshed into 3D tetrahedral/hybrid elements. The governing equations of fluid flow were computationally solved to obtain a blood flow through the blood pump. Further, hemolytic blood damage was calculated by solving a scalar transport equation where the scalar variable and the source term were obtained utilizing an empirical power-law correlation between the fluid dynamic variables and hemolysis. To obtain mesh independent flow solution, a comparative examination of vector fields, hydrodynamic performance, and hemolysis predictions were carried out. Different sizes of tetrahedral and tetrahedral/hexahedral mixed hybrid models were considered. The mesh independent solutions were obtained by a hybrid model. Laminar and SST κ–ω turbulence flow models were used for different operating conditions. In order to pinpoint the most significant hemolytic region, the flow field analysis was coupled to the hemolysis predictions. In summary, computational characterization of the device was satisfactorily carried out within the targeted operating conditions of the device, and it was observed that the UltraMag blood pump can be safely operated for its intended use to create a circulatory support for both pediatric and adult-sized patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1113
Number of pages15
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2010


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