Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Gerald Miller

Second Advisor

James Arrowood

Third Advisor

Ding-Yu Fei


Heart failure is expected to ail over 8 million people in America by 2030 leaving many in need of cardiac replacement. To accommodate this large volume of people, ventricular assist devices (VADs) are necessary to provide mechanical circulatory support. Current VADs exhibit issues such as thrombosis and hemolysis caused by large local pressure drops and turbulent flow within the pump. Multiple disk centrifugal pumps (MDCPs) use shearing and centrifugal forces to produce laminar flow patterns and eliminate large pressure drops within the pump which greatly reduce risks that are in current VADs. The MDCP has a shaft drive system (SDS) that causes leakage between the motor and housing that when implanted can cause blood loss, infection, thrombosis and hemolysis. To eliminate these adverse effects, a magnetic external motor-driven system (MEMDS) was implemented. An efficiency study was performed to examine the efficacy of the MEMDS by comparing the hydraulic work of the MDCP to the power required to run the pump. This was done by measuring inlet and outlet pressures, outlet flow rate and input current at various input voltages and resistances. The results showed the MDCP could produce physiologic flow characteristics with a flow rate of 4.90 L/min and outlet pressure of 61.33 mmHg at an impeller speed of 989.79 rpm. Other VADs generate flow rates around 5 L/min at rotational speeds of 2400 rpm for centrifugal pumps and 12000 rpm for axial pumps. When compared to the SDS, the MEMDS exhibited similar efficiencies of 3.89% and 3.50% respectively. This study shows promise in the advancement of MDCP.


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