Showcase Project | Design of Biomedical Devices / Optimization with Advanced CFD Analysis

Researchers at the Silicon Valley office of ARA are developing computa Pump Pressuretional tools to optimize performance and minimize blood damage in cariovascular devices. We are using advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes to calculate the flow of blood through pumps. CFD calculation of velocity streamlines, and distributions of pressure and shear stresses allows a designer to visualize the blood flow through the device, evaluate performance and identify problem areas.

Blood damage models are being developed and implemented into the CFD code Acusolve to predict the rates of hemolysis and other blood damage caused by the pump during operation. The rate of blood damage depends on many factors including time of exposure, stress or strain rate, temperature, and load history. By incorporating the blood damage model into the CFD code blood damage becomes an integral part of the solution. Damage

We are developing interactive graphical user interfaces to allow designers to optimize pump designs without requiring extensive knowledge of CFD or finite element techniques. The user inputs parameters for pump constraints and geometry in terms of physical quantities. Design quantities such as wrap angle for blades are input graphically. In additional to providing measures of overall pump performance and blood damage rate, the code allows visualization of calculated parameters such as fringes of pressure or localized blood damage rate which can help identify problem areas in a pump design. The designer can evaluate the current design and then modify it to minimize blood damage and optimize performance.

Our partner for this work was Acusim Software.


The simulations described in this program were performed on SGI computers.


For inquiries or comments, please contact:

Robert MacNeill
Principal Engineer

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