Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

Powered Fontan Hemodynamics

This work will be the focus of a newly funded NIH-RO1 grant related to the design and development of a novel cavopulmonary assist device for Fontan circulation. Univentricular heart disease is the leading cause of death from birth defects under 1 year of age. Fontan palliation consists of a series of three open heart surgeries designed to directly connect the systemic and pulmonary circulations. In the end it results in a 4-way connection with the superior and inferior vena cava supplying de-oxygenated blood to the left and right pulmonary arteries and hence to the lungs. Energy losses and poor mixing associated with the colliding blood flow streams at the so called total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC) adversely affects patient outcomes. Putting a mechanical pump back into the circulation, so called cavopulmonary assist (Rodefeld et al. 2003) can help alleviate some of these negative effects. Recently, in collaboration with Dr. Mark Rodefeld of IU Medical School and Riley Children's Hospital, we have developed a novel cavopulmonary assist device called the viscous impeller pump (VIP) which would be deployed percutaneously via a catheter-based expandable rotary blood pump platform. Below are some results highlighting device operation, performance, and application to patient-specific geometries. Our first article with early results but clear definition of the concept was published last year and is available here. A press release related to the discovery of the VIP from last year can be found here. Our newest article demonstrating excellent performance and biocompatability of our latest design with comparisons between CFD and measure HQ data is in press in the new journal Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology here. Our most recent efforts include both further assessment of VIP performance as well as PIV and LES of powered Fontan hemodynamics and were presented at this past summers ASME Bioengineering Conference here. Stay tuned for more...

Animation showing CFD predicted particle paths in a VIP-powered Fontan circulation in an idealized TCPC.

Comparisons of CFD predictions to experimental measurements of H-Q performance of a VIP-powered Fontan circulation in an idealized TCPC over range of flow rates and RPMs. Performance and prediction accuracy is excellent.

Snapshot from CFD prediction of VIP-powered Fontan circulation in an MRI-based patient-specific TCPC showing IVC scalar transport as it relates to hepatic distribution. The latest version of the VIP can be seen at the center of the TCPC junction.

Snapshots from our latest greatest LES of idealized TCPC flow using a new PETSC-based MPI version of our WenoHemo code (described on previous links) and a new immersed boundary method. Preliminary comparisons of mean velocity statistics to measured PIV data show good agreement. Simulations with the VIP and comparisons to measurements are underway and will be reported at two talks this March and May.