Modeling of a Dielectric Elastomer Diaphragm for a Prosthetic Blood Pump

Nakhiah Goulbourne, Mary Frecker, Eric Mockensturm, Alan Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The electromechanical behavior of dielectric elastomers is to be exploited for medical application in artificial blood pumps. It is required that the pump diaphragm achieves a swept volume increase of 70 cc into a systolic pressure of 120 mmHg with the main design objective being volumetric efficiency. As such, a model that accommodates large deformation behavior is used. In order to design prosthetic blood pumps that closely mimic the natural pumping chambers of the heart, a dielectric elastomer diaphragm design is proposed. The elastomer's change in shape in response to the applied electric field will permit it to be the active element of the pump just as the ventricular walls are in the natural heart. A comprehensive analytical model that accounts for the combined elastic and dielectric behavior of the membrane is used to compute the stresses and deformations of the inflated membrane. Dielectric elastomers are often pre-strained in order to obtain optimal electromechanical performance. The resulting model incorporates pre-strain and shows how system parameters such as pre-strain, pressure, electric field, and edge constraints affect membrane deformation. The model predicts more than adequate volume displacement for moderate pre-strain of the elastomer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-331
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Nov 27 2003
EventPROCEEDINGS OF SPIE SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering: Smart Structures and Materials 2003 Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 3 2003Mar 6 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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