A monopivot magnetic suspension blood pump is a centrifugal pump under development with a magnetic suspension and a ceramic pivot to support the impeller with minimum contact. The pump size has been reduced by implementing a direct impeller drive mechanism in place of a magnetic coupling and motor. Flow visualization studies revealed that high shear, which seems to be closely related to hemolysis, concentrates in boundary layers near the walls. This implies that fluid dynamic shear can be reduced not by widening the gap, but by reducing the impeller velocity. Therefore, compared with the results of the previous semi-open curved vane impeller model, impeller velocity was reduced by 30% with a closed impeller having radial straight vanes, and smaller impeller/housing gaps. The volute shape around the impeller tip was also changed such that the outflow from the impeller enters along the center plane of the volute. To examine the effect of the improvements, hemolysis testing was conducted and found that the newly developed closed impeller model generated a lower level of hemolysis than the previous semi-open impeller model.
© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.