Ventricular assist devices have become the standard therapy for end-stage heart failure. However, their use is still associated with severe adverse events related to the damage done to the blood by fluid dynamic stresses. This damage relates to both the stress magnitude and the length of time the blood is exposed to that stress. We created a dye washout technique which combines experimental and numerical approaches to measure the washout times of ventricular assist devices. The technique was used to investigate washout characteristics of three commercially available and clinically used ventricular assist devices: the CentriMag, HVAD and HeartMate II. The time taken to reach 5% dye concentration at the outlet (T05) was used as an indicator of the total residence time. At a typical level of cardiac support, 5 L/min and 100 mmHg, T05 was 0.93, 0.28 and 0.16 s for CentriMag, HVAD and HeartMate II, respectively, and increased to 5.06, 1.64 and 0.96 s for reduced cardiac support of 1 L/min. Regional variations in washout characteristics are described in this article. While the volume of the flow domain plays a large role in the differences in T05 between the ventricular assist devices, after standardising for ventricular assist device volume, the secondary flow path was found to increase T05 by 35%. The results explain quantitatively, for the first time, why the CentriMag, which exerts low shear stress magnitude, has still been found to cause acquired von Willebrand Syndrome in patients.
- Blood damage
- Residence time
- Shear stress
- Ventricular assist devices
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering
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- Department of Mechanical Engineering - Senior Lecturer
- Centre for Therapeutic Innovation
- Centre for Bioengineering & Biomedical Technologies (CBio)
Person: Research & Teaching, Core staff