The hemodynamics of the Berlin pulsatile VAD and the role of its MHV configuration

Idit Avrahami*, Moshe Rosenfeld, Shmuel Einav

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 3D flow in a model of the Berlin ventricular assist device (VAD) chamber with monoleaflet valves placed in S-shape conduits was simulated numerically. The blood flow dynamics were described in terms of flow patterns, velocity, pressure, and shear stress. The hemodynamic properties and the VAD's potential risk for thrombosis were evaluated in terms of mixing and washout properties, and global estimations of platelet level of activation (LOA). In order to evaluate the role of valves on the flow in the chamber, the flow in a model with bileaflet valves in straight conduits was simulated and compared with the original case. The results showed that in both models a large rotating flow was developed in the chamber during filling. This vortex filled the entire chamber and moved constantly up to the peak ejection phase, resulting in relatively low shear stress (up to 0.4 Pa) and no lasting stagnation regions. Significant shear stresses were found near the valves with higher values near the outlet valve in both models. The configuration of valves and conduits had a large effect on VAD washout and mixing properties, with advantage to the bileaflet model. However, since the bileaflet valves exhibited higher shear stresses, higher LOA were found for the bileaflet model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1373-1388
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006


FundersFunder number
Berman Trust
Joseph Drown Foundation
German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development
Israel Science Foundation


    • Computational fluid dynamics
    • Mechanical heart valves
    • Mixing and washout properties
    • Platelet level of activation
    • Pulsatile VAD
    • Ventricular assist device


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