Passive performance evaluation and validation of a viscous impeller pump for subpulmonary fontan circulatory support
Embargo Lift Date
Patients with single ventricle defects undergoing the Fontan procedure eventually face Fontan failure. Long-term cavopulmonary assist devices using rotary pump technologies are currently being developed as a subpulmonary power source to prevent and treat Fontan failure. Low hydraulic resistance is a critical safety requirement in the event of pump failure (0 RPM) as a modest 2 mmHg cavopulmonary pressure drop can compromise patient hemodynamics. The goal of this study is therefore to assess the passive performance of a viscous impeller pump (VIP) we are developing for Fontan patients, and validate flow simulations against in-vitro data. Two different blade heights (1.09 mm vs 1.62 mm) and a blank housing model were tested using a mock circulatory loop (MCL) with cardiac output ranging from 3 to 11 L/min. Three-dimensional flow simulations were performed and compared against MCL data. In-silico and MCL results demonstrated a pressure drop of < 2 mmHg at a cardiac output of 7 L/min for both blade heights. There was good agreement between simulation and MCL results for pressure loss (mean difference − 0.23 mmHg 95% CI [0.24–0.71]). Compared to the blank housing model, low wall shear stress area and oscillatory shear index on the pump surface were low, and mean washout times were within 2 s. This study demonstrated the low resistance characteristic of current VIP designs in the failed condition that results in clinically acceptable minimal pressure loss without increased washout time as compared to a blank housing model under normal cardiac output in Fontan patients.