ABSTRACT The back-flow of an aortic valvo-pump will re-duce the pumping flow rate but can wash out the gap between the rotor and the stator, and thus can improve the antithrombogenicity of the de-vice. To investigate the regurgitation of a 23mm OD aortic valvo-pump, its closed impeller was replaced by a cylinder and hereby the valvo- pump had lost its pumping function. The pres-sure head crossing the aortic valvo-pump was maintained by a locally made pulsatile centrifugal pump, beating rhythmically from 30 to 120mmHg. The back flow from outlet to inlet of valvo-pump via the above-mentioned gap was measured. Results demonstrated that this gap and the pressure head had remarkable effect on back- flow; a larger gap and/or a larger pressure head would lead to a larger back-flow. By 0,20mm gap and 100mmHg pressure head, the valvo-pump had ca. 0,8 l/min back-flow. Instantaneous meas-urement indicated that the back-flow had a pul-satile form with high rate during diastole while low rate during systole of the natural heart imi-tated by pulsatile centrifugal pump. The pump rotated at 12500rpm, 15000rpm and 17500rpm respectively, but it was found the rotating speed had no affection on back-flow. This investigation provides a basis for pump design seeking for both increase of the flow rate and improvement of the compatibility; the former is particularly important for a mini axial pump and the latter is extremely difficult for closed impeller.
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