Thousands of pediatric patients suffering from cardiomyopathy or single ventricular physiologies secondary to debilitating heart defects may benefit from long-term mechanical circulatory support due to the limited number of donor hearts available. This article presents the initial design of a fully implantable centrifugal pediatric ventricular assist device (PVAD) for 2 to 12 year olds. Conventional pump design equations, including a nondimensional scaling approach, enabled performance estimations of smaller scale versions (25 mm and 35 mm impeller diameters) of our adult support VAD. Based on this estimated performance, a computational model of the PVAD with a 35 mm impeller diameter was generated. Employing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, the flow paths through the PVAD and overall performance were analyzed for steady state flow conditions. The numerical simulations involved flow rates of 2 to 5 LPM for rotational speeds of 2750 to 3250 RPM and incorporated a k-e fluid turbulence model with a logarithmic wall function to characterize near-wall flow conditions. The CFD results indicated best efficiency points ranging from 25% to 28%, which correlate well with typical values of blood pumps. The results further demonstrated that the pump could deliver 2 to 5 LPM at 70 to 95 mmHg for desired physiologic conditions in resting 2 to 12 year olds. Scalar stress levels remained below 300 Pa, thereby signifying potentially low levels of hemolysis. Several flow regions in the pump exhibited signs of vortices, retrograde flow, and stagnation points, which require optimization and further study. This CFD model represents a reasonable starting point for future model enhancements, leading to prototype manufacturing and experimental validation.

Publication Date



International journal of artificial organs article.Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


RIT – Main Campus