Development of a Numerical Pump Testing Framework
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It has been shown that left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) increase the survival rate in end-stage heart failure patients. However, there is an ongoing demand for an increased quality of life, fewer adverse events, and more physiological devices. These challenges necessitate new approaches during the design process. In this study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), lumped parameter (LP) modeling, mock circulatory loops (MCLs), and particle image velocimetry (PIV) are combined to develop a numerical Pump Testing Framework (nPTF) capable of analyzing local flow patterns and the systemic response of LVADs. The nPTF was created by connecting a CFD model of the aortic arch, including an LVAD outflow graft to an LP model of the circulatory system. Based on the same geometry, a three-dimensional silicone model was crafted using rapid prototyping and connected to an MCL. PIV studies of this setup were performed to validate the local flow fields (PIV) and the systemic response (MCL) of the nPTF. After validation, different outflow graft positions were compared using the nPTF. Both the numerical and the experimental setup were able to generate physiological responses by adjusting resistances and systemic compliance, with mean aortic pressures of 72.2-132.6?mm?Hg for rotational speeds of 2200-3050?rpm. During LVAD support, an average flow to the distal branches (cerebral and subclavian) of 24% was found in the experiments and the nPTF. The flow fields from PIV and CFD were in good agreement. Numerical and experimental tools were combined to develop and validate the nPTF, which can be used to analyze local flow fields and the systemic response of LVADs during the design process. This allows analysis of physiological control parameters at early development stages and may, therefore, help to improve patient outcomes.