Modification of a pivot bearing system on a compact centrifugal pump

Tadashi Nakazawa, Kenzo Makinouchi, Yoshiyuki Takami, Julie Glueck, Setsuo Takatani, Yukihiko Nosé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The pivot bearing centrifugal blood pump was developed as a long-term centrifugal ventricular assist de vice (VAD) as well as a cardiopulmonary bypass pump. This pivot bearing supported centrifugal pump with an eccentric port (C1E) incorporates a seal-less design with a blood stagnation-free structure. This pump can provide flows of 12 L/min against 650 mm Hg total pressure head at 3,600 rpm, and in a CPB condition 5 L/min against 350 mm Hg total pressure head at 2,600 rpm. Very recently, the pivot bearing system was modified to obtain a stable and smooth spinning movement. The material of the female pivot was changed from ceramic to polyethylene. Three kinds of bearings were tested simultaneously with bovine blood in two types of in vitro circuits to determine the blood damage from the bearings. Pressure differences across the pump (total head pressure, ΔP) of 140 mm Hg (n = 12) and 330 mm Hg (n = 12) were examined. The normalized index of hemolysis (NIH) was slightly higher in a ball bearing (BB) pump than in a polyethylene bearing (PB) pump and statistically higher: than the BioMedicus Pump (BP-80) on ΔP of 140 mm Hg. When the ΔP was at 330 mm Hg, a comparison between tile three types of pumps revealed no difference in NIH. In addition, the primary vane of the impeller was redesigned to obtain an atraumatic structure. In the second study (n = 14), there was no difference in the NIH between BP-80 and the current model when the ΔP was 300 mm Hg (0.019 ± 0.002 vs. 0.027 ± 0.006, p = 0.3) and/or when the ΔP was 100 mm Hg (0.0008 ± 0.0001 vs. 0.0014 ± 0.0002, p = 0.07). The modified pivot bearing had an improved spinning condition and no change in hemolysis. A proper selection of pivot bearing materials is important to develop an atraumatic centrifugal pump. The modification of the bearing system and redesign of the vane enabled a compact centrifugal pump to become a reality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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