Mohawk Innovative Technology, Inc. (MiTi; Albany, NY) and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (Cleveland, OH) have been engaged in a joint project to develop a new, high efficiency magnetic bearing for use in a rotary blood pump. Such a bearing would have some advantages with respect to permitting large, low shear clearances and avoiding crevice-like pivot interfaces and surface wear related issues. While magnetically suspended blood pumps have been demonstrated, other prototypes reported in the literature consume 5–15 W of power to energize the bearing. The MiTi bearing has been prototyped and tested. The design is a hybrid configuration, radially passive and axially active. The rotor-and-bearing system has been run in air and in blood analog solution, in all orientations. Measurements show a bearing power consumption below 0.5 W. Vibration peaked at 0.2 g in blood analog solution; frequency analysis indicated that this was primarily related to motor design features. Measured displacements from the equilibrium position were less than 0.005 cm. Based on this highly successful bearing prototype, an integrated pump/bearing system is now being developed.
Copyright © 1998 by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs