In this study, rear-impeller axial flow blood pumps (RIAFBP) were developed to realize a trans-valve axial ventricular assist device (VAD) which consists of the latter blood pump and a polymer monomembrane aortic valve, such as the jellyfish valve. The motor of the RIAFBP is installed in the left ventricle, and its impeller is placed at the aortic valve position. In the prototype RIAFBP, the rotation of the motor is sustained by polyethylene bushings. The RIAFBP has a length of 50 mm and diameter of 19.6 mm. The miniature RIAFBP has the same construction as that of the prototype; however, it employs a ceramic bearing and fin bearing to improve endurance and to reduce blood stagnation. The miniature RIAFBP has a length of 63 mm and diameter of 12 mm. Both RIAFBPs were examined by an in vitro experiment using a 33% glycerin solution. The prototype RIAFBP achieved a maximum pump outflow of 8.5 L/min against a pump head of 100 mm Hg at a rotational speed of 12 000 rpm. The miniature RIAFBP achieved 7 L/min against a pump head of 70 mm Hg at a rotational speed of 21 600 rpm. In conclusion, the miniature RIAFBP has enough pump performance to realize the trans-valve axial VAD.
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