Mathematical representation and simulation of an ECMO pump : Focusing on device performance and indications of flow-induced complications

University essay from KTH/Skolan för kemi, bioteknologi och hälsa (CBH)

Abstract: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a medical treatment that aims to support patients' respiratory and circulatory systems by oxygenation of blood outside of the patient. The therapy exposes blood to an artificial environment, which increases the risk of clot formations in the blood. This thesis proposes a noninvasive method to detect the development of thrombi in the ECMO circuit (which may cause patient complications) by measuring the blood pump motor effect and blood flow. To show the feasibility of this approach, a code that calculates pump efficiency changes due to adjustments of flow resistance shall be written and tested with a mock-up of an extracorporeal life support (ECLS) circuit. Results indicate there exist different flow efficiency relations. Efficiency seems to be influenced by design; certain rotation speeds have higher efficiency than others. As flow increases, so do efficiency (for our values, 3-5 Litres per minute, LPM). For 3 LPM, the highest efficiency was achieved at around 2800 RPM; 4 and 5 LPM start with higher efficiency but decreases as RPM increases. It was concluded that it is possible to differentiate between various flow restrictions using power consumption assessments. Low resistance changes, reduction of cross-section area for flow by 10% on the inlet side, and 16% on the outlet side showed no difference in impeller turning speed nor flow out of the pump.

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