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Enhancing Performance and Safety with Simulation

At St. Jude Medical (now Abbott), multiphysics simulation is used to model left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) to improve the outlook and quality of life for patients with heart failure.

Enhancing Performance and Safety of Medical Implantable Devices with Multiphysics Simulation

At St. Jude Medical (now Abbott), Freddy Hansen uses multiphysics simulation to model left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) to improve the outlook and quality of life for patients with heart failure. Numerical simulations spanning fluid dynamics, power supply, and thermal management allow him to characterize this complex device before experimental studies.

Development efforts at St. Jude Medical are centered on improving biocompatibility, hemocompatibility, and immunocompatibility to avoid an adverse response from the body.

Hansen used the rotating machinery modeling technology available in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to model a magnetically levitated rotor and turbulent blood flow.

He also used the software to perform preliminary investigations into transferring power wirelessly to the device as well as evaluate the structural integrity of the external controller of the LVAD.

On the shown image:
(a) 3D CFD simulation depicting fluid velocity within the pump chamber.
(b) Visualization of the magnetically levitated rotor, which eliminates the need for ball bearings and other components with geometries that might promote clotting. Here, the magnitude and direction of the magnetic field in the rotor, as well as the magnitude of the magnetic field in the stator are shown.
(c) Diagram of the centrifugal pump of an LVA

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