During the last years, employment of numerical flow simulation has increased in various research institutes and development departments of innovative companies. An overview of research topics and protagonists found in the international literature are described here (German).
The ReinVAD left ventricular assist device is currently under development in the Helmholtz institute. Numerical flow simulation has been employed to aid in the design of the impeller-volute configuration, the radial journal bearing, the axial spiral groove bearing and the inlet configuration. Some parts of the results of this work have been presented at the ASAIO conference 2009 in Dallas and at the ISRBP conference 2009 in Singapore.
Figure 1 shows a representative illustration of the flow behaviour within the centrifugal impeller of an early version of the ReinVAD design. By means of those results showing the flow relative to the blades of the impeller, design decisions concerning blade shape and orientation can be conducted. Figure 2 shows five streamlines illustrating the local flow velocity from the inlet to the outlet of the device. Through images like this, particle fate investigations can be performed that can lead to a first blood damage prediction.