Fluid Dynamic Study of the Penn State Pediatric Total Artificial Heart

Cody Kubicki, Emma Raich, Peter Selinsky, Sailahari Ponnaluri, William Weiss, Keefe B. Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Penn State University is developing a pediatric total artificial heart (TAH) as a bridge-to-transplant device that supports infants and small children with single ventricle anomalies or biventricular heart failure to address high waitlist mortality rates for pediatric patients with severe congenital heart disease (CHD). Two issues with mechanical circulatory support devices are thrombus formation and thromboembolic events. This in vitro study characterizes flow within Penn State’s pediatric total artificial heart under physiological operating conditions. Particle image velocimetry (PIV) is used to quantify flow within the pump and to calculate wall shear rates (WSRs) along the internal pump surface to identify potential thrombogenic regions. Results show that the diastolic inflow jets produce sufficient wall shear rates to reduce thrombus deposition potential along the inlet side of the left and right pumps. The inlet jet transitions to rotational flow, which promotes wall washing along the apex of the pumps, prevents flow stasis, and aligns flow with the outlet valve prior to systolic ejection. However, inconsistent high wall shear rates near the pump apex cause increased thrombogenic potential. Strong systolic outflow jets produce high wall shear rates near the outlet valve to reduce thrombus deposition risk. The right pump, which has a modified outlet port angle to improve anatomical fit, produces lower wall shear rates and higher thrombus susceptibility potential (TSP) compared to the left pump. In summary, this study provides a fluid dynamic understanding of a new pediatric total artificial heart and indicates thrombus susceptibility is primarily confined to the apex, consistent with similar pulsatile heart pumps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101007
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)

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