Blood recirculating devices, which include ventricular assist devices and prosthetic heart valves, are necessary for some patients suffering from end-stage heart failure and valvular diseases. However, disturbed flow patterns in these devices cause shear-induced platelet activation and aggregation. Thromboembolic complications resulting from this platelet behavior necessitates lifelong anticoagulant therapy for patients implanted with such devices. In addition, blood recirculating device manufacturers mostly test and optimize their products for hemolysis, which occurs at shear stresses ten-fold higher than required for platelet activation. The relative paucity of optimization for flow-induced thrombogenicity is further exacerbated by the fact that there are few predictive shear-induced platelet activation models.

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