CFD Characterization of the Ventricular Assist Device HeartAssist 5® Through a Sliding Mesh Approach
Analysis to determine possible optimizations to enhance device safety and efficacy for long-term patient use
This technical article describes how high-end numerical Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations were applied to mimic the realistic operating conditions of a Ventricular Assist Device (VADs) and analyze its hemodynamics in order to identify potential areas for optimization of the device’s performance, safety and efficacy. VADs are increasingly used to mitigate the shortfall in donor organs for cardiopathic patients awaiting heart transplants annually by providing a bridge-to-transplant, or to stabilize patients with congestive heart failure. While rotary VADs have smaller dimensions and simpler structures than pulsatile VADs, their continuous, high-speed, rotating blood-flow patterns represent a potential risk factor to patients from thrombus formation, thromboembolic complications or device malfunction due to pump thrombosis. Consequently, patients risk sudden death or having to face the risks of complex device-replacement surgery. Optimization of these devices could save lives and improve quality of life for cardiopathic patients likely to face long-term therapy.