Previous studies have shown that the interrelated flow characteristics necessary for the prevention of thrombosis in a pulsatile ventricular assist device (VAD) are a strong inlet jet, a late diastolic recirculating flow, and adequate wall washing (greater than 500 s−1). Particle image velocimetry was used to compare the flow fields in the chamber of the 12 cc Penn State pediatric pulsatile VAD using two valves: Björk-Shiley Monostrut (BSM) tilting-disc valves at the inlet and outlet and Carbomedics (CM) bi-leaflet valves at the inlet and outlet. In conjunction with the flow evaluation, wall shear data were calculated and analyzed to help to quantify wall washing. The major orifice inlet jet of the device containing BSM valves was more intense which led to better circulation and wall washing than the three jets produced by the CM valves Regurgitation through the CM valve was observed and served as a significant hindrance to the development of the rotational flow.

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