Evaluation of an artificial pulse for Left Ventricular Assist Devices

Authors: Sean Ortiz

Advisor: Dr. Karen May-Newman

Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are mechanical pumps that are implanted to treat heart failure, but clinically exhibit a 10.8% incidence of stroke. To reduce this complication, one LVAD, the Heartmate 3, has introduced an artificial pulse that is intended to improve the cardiac fluid dynamics of blood. The goal of this study was to measure the effect of the artificial pulse on flow and vortex dynamics of the LVAD-supported left ventricle (LV) in a mock circulatory loop. Experimental studies were performed with a silicone model of dilated LV and rotary flow LVAD (Abbott Labs, Chicago IL). A Lavision PIV system was used to measure the 2-D velocity field the LV midplane. Velocity fields were analyzed vortex circulation, kinetic energy and for regions of interest located adjacent to the LVAD inflow cannula. Based on the data analyzed, it is predicted that the artificial pulse reduces the risk of thromboembolic complications.