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white paper

Computational fluid dynamics for ventricular assist device optimization

The use of computer-aided engineering (CAE) significantly reduces workload while ensuring reliability and improving medical device designs. Engineering simulation is now being widely recognized and adopted by regulatory authorities, manufacturers and suppliers around the world. One example is a workshop on blood damage studies via modeling of a blood pump, organized by the FDA, to set best practices and promote the use of simulation in device design. With increasing visibility and acceptance, CAE is now at the forefront of medical device design.

This white paper discusses the developments in blood pump design using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and optimization techniques with Terumo Corporation’s Shonan Center in Japan. Learn more.

Applying computational fluid dynamics in blood pump development

A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a mechanical pump used to increase blood flow to offset a malfunctioning ventricle in the heart and take over the function of a failing heart. During the VAD development process, computational modeling is an efficient tool for finding the best design for the blood pump even before building a prototype. Using CFD facilitates analyzing and optimizing blood flow through the pump, while offering quantitative predictions of hemolysis, recirculation and blood damage.

Terumo introduced CFD about 15 years ago, and Takehisa Mori was a key member of the R&D department’s exploration team. Mori was the first to apply CFD within the company. At Terumo, CFD is used to develop blood pumps in the field of cardiovascular surgical devices. The purpose of CFD-based design exploration tool is to increase the efficiency of blood pump development and bring devices to market faster.

Read the white paper to learn about how Terumo integrated CFD in their daily practices.

Results of choosing Simcenter STAR-CCM+

Conventionally, the design method for blood pumps has involved using CFD to analyze dozens of initial-stage models and produced several candidate models. After, pump evaluation and blood-related experiments were conducted. This process continued until a final prototype was created – taking years to develop one product.

With Simcenter STAR-CCM+ and the Intelligent Design Exploration solution add-on, Terumo was able to significantly reduce development time for blood pumps, while achieving a better design faster. Venturing into this optimization process required simulating a base design in Simcenter STAR-CCM+, validated with experimental data which could be optimized. The total number of analysis case from the optimization process was 102, and the time required for calculations was about six days. The best design was identified within a week.

With their use of Simcenter STAR-CCM+, Terumo can now discover better designs to play a part in “contributing to society through health care.”