Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name



Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Gregory Auner


The project involve the research and development of a pulsatile, complex or continuous flow in biological and non-biological systems implantable heart assist pump. Specifically as a 20% cardiac assist for persons from congestive heart failure and other cardiac abnormalities. The pulsatile cardiac assist pump would provide upto 20% of the blood pumping process from the venous supply to the arterial supply. Current pumps are largely complete bypass pumps or large volume pumps that produce significant long term blood cell damage resulting in thrombosis. Most are not pulsatile which offers a significant physiological advantage. The pump under development is designed to prevent thrombosis by utilizing a unique geometry and pumping actuation mechanism. As part of the research we first used COSMOL simulation to aid in the design and blood flow dynamics. From these results we have designed a working prototype that can be configured in a number of geometries or stages. This design utilizes biocompatible material, Polyethylene oxide (PEO), which minimized protein interaction with the interior pumping surface. Shape memory alloy actuators compress the pumping chamber. Shape memory alloy actuators also actuate compression of the ingoing sphincter valve and outgoing sphincter valves. Pumping motion can be analyzed by accelerometers to provide optimized feedback and pump motion control. Zoned compression may allow optimal compression for blood flow. This type of pumping system biomimics actual heart compression and pulsation while the sphincter like valves minimizes thrombosis causing turbulent. A second actuation method may be employed utilizing pneumatic cuffs that inflate and compress the pump body and sphincter valves. The pump has a minimum of one hundred twenty mmHg pressure capabilities at fifty to one hundred and fifty beats per minute or in coordination with the compression and decompression rate of the heart as measured by blood pressure sensors or direct heart electro cardiac sensing. A cluster of pumps each independently controlled may be packaged for sequence or sequential actuation providing complex pumping and flow patterns or continuous pumping flow. Further the pumps may be independently actuated in a tandem configuration. As such the pump provides a broad field of use including but not limited to arterial to arterial pumping, drug delivery, physiological fluidic maintenance, intravenous delivery, pressure maintenance and drug manufacturing where low turbulence flow is required and any pulsatile, complex flow pattern or continuous flow pattern is required.