A computational study of the effects of inlet guide vanes on the performance of a centrifugal blood pump

W.K. Chan, Y.W. Wong, Ching Man Yu, L.P. Chua

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents computational studies on the effects of inlet guide vanes (IGVs) on the flow pattern and shear stress in a centrifugal blood pump. The effect of IGVs is to introduce a pre-swirl to fluid particles entering the impeller with the intention that the fluid particles will travel along the blade profile. Currently, most commercial centrifugal blood pumps employ straight radial impeller blades that are not hydrodynamically ideal for a good flow pattern within the blade passage. Flow separation and formation of vortices within the blade passage are believed to increase the degree of hemolysis and thrombosis. These are causes for blood clotting that will lead to malfunctioning of ventricular assist devices. Four IGVs of different geometrical profiles have been numerically investigated using a commercial software program CFX-Tascflow. The pump is operated at 2,000 rpm, and the results revealed that the relative flow patterns in the blade passage have been dramatically altered. The size of the vortices was reduced, and the pressure contours indicated a gradual rise from the impeller leading edge to the trailing edge. However, inclusion of IGV causes a drop in the pressure head generated. Higher frictional losses are incurred as fluid particles passed through the IGV. In addition, the IGV modifies the inlet velocity triangles, and this also contributes to a drop in the pressure head generated that is consistent with Euler's pump theory. The change in the flow patterns and the gradual variation of the pressure contours have led to lower shear stress within the blade passages as compared to the case without IGVs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-542
Number of pages9
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Centrifugal blood pump
  • Inlet guide vanes
  • Numerical simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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