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Effects of Cone-Shaped Bend Inlet Cannulas of an Axial Blood Pump on Thrombus Formation: An Experiment and Simulation Study

Guangmao Liu, Jianye Zhou, Hansong Sun, Yan Zhang, Haibo Chen, Shengshou Hu

(State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, Fuwai Hospital, Beijing, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:1655-1661

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.903421

BACKGROUND: Cannula shape and connection style influence the risk of thrombus formation in the blood pump by varying the blood flow characteristics inside the pump. Inlet cannulas should be designed based on the need for anatomical fit and reducing the risk of thrombus generation in the blood pump. The effects on thrombus formation of the cone-shaped bend inlet cannulas of axial blood pumps should be studied.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The cannulas were designed as cone-shaped, with 1 bent section connecting 2 straight sections. Both the silicone tube and novel cone-shaped cannula were simulated for comparison. The flow fields of a blood pump with inlet cannula were simulated by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) at flows of 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 liters per minute (lpm), with pump rotational speeds of 7500, 8000, and 8500 rpm, respectively. Then, 6 two-dimensional (2D) particle image velocimetry (PIV) tests were conducted and the velocity distributions were analyzed.
RESULTS: A low-velocity region was located inside the pump entrance when a soft silicone tube was used. At 8500 rpm and 3.0 lpm working condition, the minimum velocity inside the pump with cone-shaped cannulas was 2.5×10^–1 m/s. The cone-shaped cannulas eliminated the low-velocity region inside the pump. Both CFD and PIV results showed that the low-velocity region did not spread to the entrance of the blood pump within the flow range from 2.0 lpm to 7.0 lpm.
CONCLUSIONS: The designed cone-shaped bent cannulas can eliminate the low-velocity region inside the blood pump and reduce the risk of thrombus formation in the blood pump.

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