Shaft/shaft-seal interface characteristics of a multiple disk centrifugal blood pump

Keefe B. Manning, Gerald E. Miller

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5 Scopus citations


A multiple disk centrifugal pump (MDCP) is under investigation as a potential left ventricular assist device. As is the case with most shaft driven pumps, leakage problems around the shaft/shaft seal interface are of major interest. If leakage were to occur during or after implantation, potential events such as blood loss, clotting, blood damage, and/or infections might result in adverse effects for the patient. Because these effects could be quite disastrous, potential shaft and shaft seal materials have been investigated to determine the most appropriate course to limit these effects. Teflon and nylon shaft seals were analyzed as potential candidates along with a stainless steel shaft and a Melonite coated shaft. The materials and shafts were evaluated under various time durations (15, 30, 45, and 60 min), motor speeds (800, 1,000, 1,200, and 1,400 rpm), and outer diameters ( 1/2 and 3/4 inches). The motor speed and geometrical configurations were typical for the MDCP under normal physiologic conditions. An air and water study was conducted to analyze the inner diameter wear, the inner temperature values, and the outer temperature values. Statistical comparisons were computed for the shaft seal materials, the shafts, and the outer diameters along with the inner and outer temperatures. The conclusions made from the results indicate that both the tested shaft seal materials and shaft materials are not ideal candidates to be used for the MDCP. Teflon experienced a significant amount of wear in air and water studies. Nylon did experience little wear, but heat generation was an evident problem. A water study on nylon was not conducted because of its molecular structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)552-558
Number of pages7
JournalArtificial organs
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 5 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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