CFD Review  
Serving the CFD Community with News, Articles, and Discussion
CFD Review

User Preferences
Site Sponsorship
Headline Feeds
Mobile Edition
Privacy Policy
Terms of Service

Submit a CFD Story

Site Sponsors
Siemens PLM Software
The Choice for CFD Meshing
CFD Review

Tell a Friend
Help this site to grow by sending a friend an invitation to visit this site.

CFD News by Email
Did you know that you can get today's CFD Review headlines mailed to your inbox? Just log in and select Email Headlines Each Night on your User Preferences page.

Perfecting a Life-Saving Blood Pump
Posted Wed November 08, 2006 @03:44PM
Print version Email story Tweet story
Application The MicroMed DeBakey Ventricular Assist Device (VAD), an axial flow blood pump implanted in a patient’s chest to bypass his ailing heart, is being refined with the help of Apple technology.

Professor Marek Behr of RWTH Aachen University uses finite element analysis (FEA) techniques and a Xserve cluster and Mac desktops to make blood pumps such as the MicroMed DeBakey VAD even more durable and patient-friendly.

Sponsor CFD Review

“Implantable blood pumps can last for over a year,” says Behr. “That’s long enough for people to find a transplant donor. But our ambition is to make it viable as a permanent replacement.”

Behr directs the Chair for Computational Analysis of Technical Systems (CATS) at the RWTH Aachen University. His team of engineers receives CAD models of the DeBakey VAD from MicroMed Cardiovascular Inc. of Houston, Texas, and subjects them to engineering analysis. The DeBakey VAD is already a medical and commercial success — it has been implanted in nearly 400 patients. But MicroMed and CATS continue to look for ways to improve it.

The pump may be small, but it takes major computing muscle to run the FEA flow studies that Behr and his team are using to refine its design. CATS chose a 44-processor Xserve cluster to power the program.

“We convert the MicroMed CAD models to a finite element mesh,” says Behr, “and we use the mesh to simulate a fully developed flow field on the Xserve cluster using our own computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. Each simulation is a series of about a thousand time steps, each step with five to ten million finite elements. We needed massive compute power for this process, and once we made our comparisons it was easy to choose the Apple cluster.”

CATS uses these compute-intensive simulations to explore the potential of each design modification, running a variety of flow profiles, flow rates, and impeller speeds to find the best way to improve the flow pump’s biocompatibility. Could it be reduced in size to make it more suitable for young patients? Would a change in the geometry of the impeller blades or the stators reduce hemolysis? Hemolysis — the release of hemoglobin into the bloodstream — can result from damage to red cells. It is a potential danger to internal organs and can be life-threatening in extreme cases.

blood pump
The MicroMed DeBakey Ventricular Assist Device (VAD), an axial flow blood pump, implanted in the patient’s chest could bypass his ailing heart.


[ Post Comment ]

Stanford University Professor to Receive Prestigious Elmer A. Sperry Award | ESI Group Announces Training Dates for 2007  >


CFD Review Login
User name:


Create an Account

Related Links
  • Apple
  • Apple technology
  • Chair for Computational Analysis of Technical Systems
  • More on Application
  • Also by nwyman
  • This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

    Do nothing unless you must, and when you must act -- hesitate. All content except comments
    ©2018, Viable Computing.

    [ home | submit story | search | polls | faq | preferences | privacy | terms of service | rss  ]