Thrombotic complications, such as hemorrhage or embolism, remain a major concern of blood contacting medical devices [1], including prosthetic heart valves (PHV) and mechanical circulatory support devices, e.g. ventricular assist devices (VAD) or the Total Artificial Heart (TAH) [2]. In most cases device recipients require life-long anticoagulation therapy, which increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke and other bleeding disorders. In order to obviate the need for anticoagulants and reduce stroke risks, our group developed a unique optimization methodology, Device Thrombogenicity Emulation (DTE) [2–5]. With the DTE, the thrombogenic potential of a device is evaluated using extensive numerical modeling and calculating multiple platelet trajectories flowing through the device. The platelet stress-time waveforms are then emulated in our Hemodynamic Shearing Device (HSD) and their activation level is measured with our Platelet Activation State (PAS) assay. This provides a proxy validation of the simulation. We identify high shear stress producing regions within the device and modify its design to reduce or eliminate those potentially thrombogenic ‘hot-spots.’ Through an iterative process, we can optimize the device design prior to prototyping.

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