Computational modeling of the Food and Drug Administration’s benchmark centrifugal blood pump

Bryan C. Good, Keefe B. Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In order to simulate hemodynamics within centrifugal blood pumps and to predict pump hemolysis, CFD simulations must be thoroughly validated against experimental data. They must also account for and accurately model the specific working fluid in the pump, whether that is a blood-analog solution to match an experimental PIV study or animal blood in a hemolysis experiment. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) benchmark centrifugal blood pump and its database of experimental PIV and hemolysis data were used to thoroughly validate CFD simulations of the same blood pump. A Newtonian blood model was first used to compare to the PIV data with a blood analog fluid while hemolysis data were compared using a power-law hemolysis model fit to porcine blood data. A viscoelastic blood model was then incorporated into the CFD solver to investigate the importance of modeling blood’s viscoelasticity in centrifugal pumps. The established computational framework, including a dynamic rotating mesh, animal blood-specific fluid properties and hemolysis modeling, and a k-ω SST turbulence model, was shown to more accurately predict pump pressure heads, velocity fields, and hemolysis compared to previously published CFD studies of the FDA centrifugal pump. The CFD simulations were able to match the FDA pressure and hemolysis data for multiple pump operating conditions, with the CFD results being within the standard deviations of the experimental results. While CFD radial velocity profiles between the impeller blades also compared well to the PIV velocity results, more work is still needed to address the large variability among both experimental and computational predictions of velocity in the diffuser outlet jet. Small differences were observed between the Newtonian and viscoelastic blood models in pressure head and hemolysis at the higher flow rate cases (FDA Conditions 4 and 5) but were more significant at lower flow rate and pump impeller speeds (FDA Condition 1). These results suggest that the importance of accounting for blood’s viscoelasticity may be dependent on the specific blood pump operating conditions. This detailed computational framework with improved modeling techniques and an extensive validation procedure will be used in future CFD studies of centrifugal blood pumps to aid in device design and predictions of their biological responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E263-E276
JournalArtificial organs
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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