A ventricular assist device (VAD), which is a miniaturized axial flow pump from the point of view of mechanism, has been designed and studied in this report. It consists of an inducer, an impeller, and a diffuser. The main design objective of this VAD is to produce an axial pump with a streamlined, idealized, and nonobstructing blood flow path. The magnetic bearings are adapted so that the impeller is completely magnetically levitated. The VAD operates under transient conditions because of the spinning movement of the impeller and the pulsatile inlet flow rate. The design method, procedure, and iterations are presented. The VAD’s performance under transient conditions is investigated by means of computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Two reference frames, rotational and stationary, are implemented in the CFD simulations. The inlet and outlet surfaces of the impeller, which are connected to the inducer and diffuser respectively, are allowed to rotate and slide during the calculation to simulate the realistic spinning motion of the impeller. The flow head curves are determined, and the variation of pressure distribution during a cardiac cycle (including systole and diastole) is given. The axial oscillation of impeller is also estimated for the magnetic bearing design. The transient CFD simulation, which requires more computer resources and calculation efforts than the steady simulation, provides a range rather than only a point for the VAD’s performance. Because of pulsatile flow phenomena and virtual spinning movement of the impeller, the transient simulation, which is realistically correlated with the in vivo implant scenarios of a VAD, is essential to ensure an effective and reliable VAD design.

Publication Date



ASAIO Journal article.Please see http://www.asaio.com/ for more information.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