Microhaemodynamics within the blade tip clearance of a centrifugal turbodynamic blood pump

Antaki, J F; Diao, C-G; Shu, F-J; Wu, J-C; Zhao, R; Kameneva, M V; Khir, Ashraf W; Sherwin, Spencer J; Pedley, T J
May 2008
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers -- Part H;May2008, Vol. 222 Issue 4, p573
Academic Journal
A persistent challenge facing the quantitative design of turbodynamic blood pumps is the great disparity of spatial scales between the primary and auxiliary flow paths. Fluid passages within journals and adjacent to the blade tips are often on the scale of several blood cells, confounding the application of macroscopic continuum models. Yet, precisely in these regions there exists the highest shear stress, which is most likely to cause cellular trauma. This disparity has motivated these microscopic studies to visualize the kinematics of the blood cells within the small clearances of a miniature turbodynamic blood pump. A transparent model of a miniature centrifugal pump having an adjustable tip clearance (50–200 μm) was prepared for direct optical visualization of the region between the impeller blade tip and the stationary housing. Synchronized images of the blood cells were obtained by a microscopic visualization system, consisting of an inverted microscope fitted with long-working-distance objective lens (40×), mercury lamp, and high-resolution charge-coupled device camera electronically triggered by the rotation of the impeller. Experiments with 7 μm fluorescent particles revealed the influence of the gap dimension on the trajectory across the blade thickness. The lateral component of velocity (perpendicular to the blade) was dramatically enhanced in the 50 μm gap compared with the 200 μm gap, thereby reducing the exposure time. Studies with diluted bovine blood (Ht  =  0.5 per cent) showed that the concentration of cells traversing the gap is also reduced dramatically (30 per cent) as the blade tip clearance is reduced from 200 μm to 50 μm. These results motivate further investigation into the microfluidic phenomena responsible for cellular trauma within turbodynamic blood pumps.


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