Experimental quantification of the fluid dynamics in blood-processing devices through 4D-flow imaging: A pilot study on a real oxygenator/heat-exchanger module

Filippo Piatti, Maria Chiara Palumbo, Filippo Consolo, Francesca Pluchinotta, Andreas Greiser, Francesco Sturla, Emiliano Votta, Sergii V. Siryk, Riccardo Vismara, Gianfranco Beniamino Fiore, Massimo Lombardi, Alberto Redaelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The performance of blood-processing devices largely depends on the associated fluid dynamics, which hence represents a key aspect in their design and optimization. To this aim, two approaches are currently adopted: computational fluid-dynamics, which yields highly resolved three-dimensional data but relies on simplifying assumptions, and in vitro experiments, which typically involve the direct video-acquisition of the flow field and provide 2D data only. We propose a novel method that exploits space- and time-resolved magnetic resonance imaging (4D-flow) to quantify the complex 3D flow field in blood-processing devices and to overcome these limitations.We tested our method on a real device that integrates an oxygenator and a heat exchanger. A dedicated mock loop was implemented, and novel 4D-flow sequences with sub-millimetric spatial resolution and region-dependent velocity encodings were defined. Automated in house software was developed to quantify the complex 3D flow field within the different regions of the device: region-dependent flow rates, pressure drops, paths of the working fluid and wall shear stresses were computed.Our analysis highlighted the effects of fine geometrical features of the device on the local fluid-dynamics, which would be unlikely observed by current in vitro approaches. Also, the effects of non-idealities on the flow field distribution were captured, thanks to the absence of the simplifying assumptions that typically characterize numerical models.To the best of our knowledge, our approach is the first of its kind and could be extended to the analysis of a broad range of clinically relevant devices.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Blood-processing device
  • Design optimization
  • Extra-corporeal circulation
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation

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