Quantification of the secondary flow in a radial coupled centrifugal blood pump based on particle tracking velocimetry

Nobuo Watanabe, Takaya Masuda, Tomoya Iida, Hiroyuki Kataoka, Tetsuo Fujimoto, Setsuo Takatani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Secondary flow in the centrifugal blood pump helps to enhance the washout effect and to minimize thrombus formation. On the other hand, it has an adverse effect on pump efficiency. Excessive secondary flow may induce hemolytic effects. Understanding the secondary flow is thus important to the design of a compact, efficient, biocompatible blood pump. This study examined the secondary flow in a radial coupled centrifugal blood pump based on a simple particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) technique. A radial magnetically coupled centrifugal blood pump has a bell-shaped narrow clearance between the impeller inner radius and the pump casing. In order to vary the flow levels through the clearance area, clearance widths of 0.25 mm and 0.50 mm and impeller washout holes with diameters of 0 mm, 2.5 mm, and 4 mm were prepared. A high-speed video camera (2000 frames per second) was used to capture the particle images from which radial flow components were derived. The flow in the space behind the impeller was assumed to be laminar and Couette type. The larger the inner clearance or diameter of washout hole, the greater was the secondary flow rate. Without washout holes, the flow behind the impeller resulted in convection. The radial flow through the washout holes of the impeller was conserved in the radial as well as in the axial direction behind the impeller. The increase in the secondary flow reduced the net pump efficiency. Simple PTV was successful in quantifying the flow in the space behind the impeller. The results verified the hypothesis that the flow behind the impeller was theoretically Couette along the circumferential direction. The convection flow observed behind the impeller agreed with the reports of other researchers. Simple PTV was effective in understanding the fluid dynamics to help improve the compact, efficient, and biocompatible centrifugal blood pump for safe clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-35
Number of pages10
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Particle tracking velocimetry
  • Radial coupled centrifugal pump
  • Secondary flow
  • Washout holes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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