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Research Papers

Mesh Sensitivity Analysis for Quantitative Shear Stress Assessment in Blood Pumps Using Computational Fluid Dynamics

[+] Author and Article Information
Sascha Gross-Hardt

Department of Cardiovascular Engineering,
Institute of Applied Medical Engineering,
Helmholtz Institute,
RWTH Aachen University,
Pauwelsstrasse 20,
Aachen 52074, Germany;
Enmodes GmbH,
Aachen 52074, Germany
e-mail: gross-hardt@ame.rwth-aachen.de

Fiete Boehning

Department of Cardiovascular Engineering,
Institute of Applied Medical Engineering,
Helmholtz Institute,
RWTH Aachen University,
Pauwelsstrasse 20,
Aachen 52074, Germany;
Enmodes GmbH,
Aachen 52074, Germany
e-mail: boehning@enmodes.de

Ulrich Steinseifer

Department of Cardiovascular Engineering,
Institute of Applied Medical Engineering,
Helmholtz Institute,
RWTH Aachen University,
Pauwelsstrasse 20,
Aachen 52074, Germany;
Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
Monash Institute of Medical Engineering,
Monash University,
Melbourne 3800, Australia
e-mail: steinseifer@ame.rwth-aachen.de

Thomas Schmitz-Rode

Department of Cardiovascular Engineering,
Institute of Applied Medical Engineering,
Helmholtz Institute,
RWTH Aachen University,
Pauwelsstrasse 20,
Aachen 52074, Germany
e-mail: smiro@ame.rwth-aachen.de

Tim A. S. Kaufmann

Department of Cardiovascular Engineering,
Institute of Applied Medical Engineering,
Helmholtz Institute,
RWTH Aachen University,
Pauwelsstrasse 20,
Aachen 52074, Germany;
Enmodes GmbH,
Aachen 52074, Germany
e-mail: kaufmann@ame.rwth-aachen.de

Manuscript received May 18, 2018; final manuscript received November 8, 2018; published online December 12, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Keefe B. Manning.

J Biomech Eng 141(2), 021012 (Dec 12, 2018) (8 pages) Paper No: BIO-18-1238; doi: 10.1115/1.4042043 History: Received May 18, 2018; Revised November 08, 2018

The reduction of excessive, nonphysiologic shear stresses leading to blood trauma can be the key to overcome many of the associated complications in blood recirculating devices. In that regard, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) are gaining in importance for the hydraulic and hemocompatibility assessment. Still, direct hemolysis assessments with CFD remain inaccurate and limited to qualitative comparisons rather than quantitative predictions. An underestimated quantity for improved blood damage prediction accuracy is the influence of near-wall mesh resolution on shear stress quantification in regions of complex flows. This study investigated the necessary mesh refinement to quantify shear stress for two selected, meshing sensitive hotspots within a rotary centrifugal blood pump (the blade leading edge and tip clearance gap). The shear stress in these regions is elevated due to presence of stagnation points and the flow around a sharp edge. The nondimensional mesh characteristic number y+, which is known in the context of turbulence modeling, underestimated the maximum wall shear stress by 60% on average with the recommended value of 1, but was found to be exact below 0.1. To evaluate the meshing related error on the numerical hemolysis prediction, three-dimensional simulations of a generic centrifugal pump were performed with mesh sizes from 3 × 106 to 30 × 106 elements. The respective hemolysis was calculated using an Eulerian scalar transport model. Mesh insensitivity was found below a maximum y+ of 0.2 necessitating 18 × 106 mesh elements. A meshing related error of up to 25% was found for the coarser meshes. Further investigations need to address: (1) the transferability to other geometries and (2) potential adaptions on blood damage estimation models to allow better quantitative predictions.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Numeric model of the generic centrifugal pump, exemplarily showing the wall shear stress distribution on the rotating impeller. Furthermore, the two-dimensional hot spot region 1 (leading edge) and region 2 (blade tip clearance) analyzed in this study are shown.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Meshing of the impeller blade geometry: (a) mesh for region 1 showing the overall mesh and the prismatic inflation layers, (b) close up to illustrate the near wall mesh density for y+ 1.232, and (c) y+ 0.013

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Velocity (a) and shear stress (b) contours of region 1 and 2 showing areas of velocity contour compression, elevated near-wall flow, and the respective location of maximum shear stress. Region 2 details the flow for 0.05 mm edge rounding.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

(a) Maximum shear stress and (b) average shear stress on the blade surface of region 1. X-axis in logarithmic scaling.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

The shear stress pattern for an inflow velocity of 3 m/s was plotted along the blade length, l, for selected max y+ values of region 1. Bottom left: curve section of the leading edge, bottom right: curve section of trailing edge. Total blade length was 0.031 m.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Maximum shear stresses within the blade tip clearance (region 2) over the corresponding maximum y+ value. Geometries of different edge rounding radii are compared. X-axis in logarithmic scaling.

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Fig. 7

The shear stresses pattern along the blade surface featuring the sharp edge, 0.05 and 0.2 mm filet size for the smallest computed y+ as shown in Fig. 6. Bottom left: entrance to the blade tip clearance region. Bottom right: exit of the blade tip clearance region. The shifts on the x-axis of peak values comply with the degree of edge rounding and the change in total blade length.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

The hemolysis index (%) for different max y+ values and corresponding total mesh element numbers. The mesh-related error in hemolysis is calculated with regard to the finest mesh.

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