The influence of device position on the flow within the Penn state 12 cc pediatric ventricular assist device

Markus Schönberger, Steven Deutsch, Keefe B. Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Ventricular assist devices are a commonly used heart failure therapy for adult patients as bridge-to-transplant or bridge-to-recovery tools. The application of adult ventricular assist devices in pediatric patients has led to increased thrombotic events. Therefore, we have been developing a pediatric ventricular assist device (PVAD), the Penn State 12 cc PVAD. It is designed for patients with a body weight of 5-15 kg and has a stroke volume of 12 cc. Clot formation is the major concern. It is correlated to the coagulability of blood, the blood contacting materials and the fluid dynamics within the system. The intent is for the PVAD to be a long term therapy. Therefore, the system may be oriented in different positions according to the patient's behavior. This study evaluates for the first time the impact of position on the flow patterns within the Penn State 12 cc PVAD, which may help to improve the PVAD design concerning chamber and ports geometries. The fluid dynamics are visualized by particle image velocimetry. The evaluation is based on inlet jet behavior and calculated wall shear rates. Vertical and horizontal model orientations are compared, both with a beat rate of 75, outlet pressures of 90/60 mm Hg and a flow rate of 1.3 l/min. The results show a significant change of the inlet jet behavior and the development of a rotational flow pattern. Vertically, the inlet jet is strong along the wall. It initiates a rotational flow pattern with a wandering axis of rotation. In contrast, the horizontal model orientation results show a weaker inlet jet along the wall with a nearly constant center of rotation location, which can be correlated to a higher risk of thrombotic events. In addition, high speed videography illustrates differences in the diaphragm motion during diastole. Diaphragm opening trajectories measurements determine no significant impact of the density of the blood analog fluids. Hence, the results correlate to human blood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-493
Number of pages13
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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