Mitigation Effect of Cell Exclusion on Blood Damage in Spiral Groove Bearings

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Hoi Houng Chan, Chris
Murashige, Tomotaka
Bieritz, Shelby A
Semenzin, Clayton
Smith, Amanda
Leslie, Laura
Simmonds, Michael J
Tansley, Geoff D
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Cell exclusion in spiral groove bearing (SGB) excludes red blood cells from high shear regions in the bearing gaps and potentially reduce haemolysis in rotary blood pumps. However, this mechanobiological phenomenon has been observed in ultra-low blood haematocrit only, whether it can mitigate blood damage in a clinically-relevant blood haematocrit remains unknown. This study examined whether cell exclusion in a SGB alters haemolysis and/or high-molecular-weight von Willebrand factor (HMW vWF) multimer degradation. Citrated human blood was adjusted to 35% haematocrit and exposed to a SGB (n=6) and grooveless disc (n=3, as a non-cell exclusion control) incorporated into a custom-built Couette test rig operating at 2000RPM for an hour; shearing gaps were 20, 30, and 40 μm. Haemolysis was assessed via spectrophotometry and HMW vWF multimer degradation was detected with gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting. Haemolysis caused by the SGB at gaps of 20, 30 and 40μm were 10.6±3.3, 9.6±2.7 and 10.5±3.9 mg/ compared to 23.3±2.6, 12.8±3.2, 9.8±1.8 mg/ by grooveless disc. At the same shearing gap of 20 µm, there was a significant reduced in haemolysis (P=0.0001) and better preserved in HMW vWF multimers (p<0.05) when compared SGB to grooveless disc. The reduction in blood damage in the SGB compared to grooveless disc is indicative of cell exclusion occurred at the gap of 20µm. This is the first experimental study to demonstrate that cell exclusion in a SGB mitigates the shear-induced blood damage in a clinically-relevant blood haematocrit of 35%, which can be potentially utilised in future blood pump design.

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Journal of Biomechanics

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© 2022 Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited.

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Hoi Houng Chan, C; Murashige, T; Bieritz, SA; Semenzin, C; Smith, A; Leslie, L; Simmonds, MJ; Tansley, GD, Mitigation Effect of Cell Exclusion on Blood Damage in Spiral Groove Bearings, Journal of Biomechanics, 2022, pp. 111394