Accurate quantitative evaluation of shear stress-related red blood cell damage (hemolysis) can be used to improve biocompatibility of mechanical cardiac assist devices. Ventricular assist devices (VAD) are used to improve cardiac heart function by acting as a booster pump [1]. Most modern VADs have a rotating impeller and the combination of high rotational speeds and small clearances causes substantial stress on the red blood cells.

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is often utilized to estimate fluid flow and shear stress in complex three-dimensional geometries. However, the accuracy of these models is not substantially reliable [2]. After determining stress and exposure time on erythrocytes, hemolysis can be evaluated using a power law correlation based on empirical data from a simple Couette viscometer [3]. The two blood damage models widely used are Giersiepen et al. [4] and Heuser and Opitz [5].

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