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CFD Improves Heart Pump Design
Posted Tue September 17, 2002 @02:28PM
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Application Scientists at Rice University's Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department are using distributed-memory parallel computers, CFD codes, and EnSight software from Computational Engineering International to visualize blood flow through LVADs (Left Ventricular Assist Devices). Their goal is to make LVADs more efficient and less prone to clotting.

LVADs are implantable pumps that assist a damaged heart while a patient waits for a transplant. Although the device is buying many patients valuable time, it is still considered experimental. The promise of a better long-term solution has researchers around the world studying LVADs.

Rice's LVAD simulations have enabled researchers to identify and quantify high-shear stress areas that can lead to the device's failure. They have also confirmed experimental observations regarding the persistent stagnation areas that lead to clotting. These results are giving researchers useful clues for improving centrifugal pump design.

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