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Magnetic actuator intended for left ventricular assist system

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2 Author(s)
Saotome, H. ; Faculty of Engineering, Chiba University, Chiba 263-8522, Japan ; Okada, T.

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With the goal of developing an artificial heart, the authors fabricated a prototype pump employing a linear motion magnetic actuator, and carried out performance tests. The actuator is composed of two disk-shaped Nd–Fe–B magnets having a diameter of 80 mm and a thickness of 7 mm. The disks are magnetized in the direction normal to the circular surface, and are formed by semicircular pieces; one semicircle serves as a N pole and the other as a S pole. The magnets face each other in the actuator. One magnet is limited to spin around its axis while the second magnet is limited to move in linear motion along its axis. In this way, the circumferential rotation of one of the magnets produces reciprocating forces on the other magnet, causing it to move back and forth. This coupled action produces a pumping motion. Because the two magnets are magnetically coupled without any mechanical contact, the rotating magnet does not have to be implanted and should be placed outside the body. The rotating magnet is driven by a motor. The motor power is magnetically conveyed, via the rotating magnet, to the implanted linear motion magnet through the skin. The proposed system yields no problems with infection that would otherwise require careful treatment in a system employing a tube penetrating the skin for power transmission. Comparison of the proposed system with another system using a transcutaneous transformer shows that our system has good potential to occupy a smaller space in the body, because it obviates implantation of a secondary part of the transformer, a power supply, and armature windings. The dimensions of the trial pump are designed in accordance with the fluid mechanical specifications of a human left ventricle, by computing magnetic fields that provide the magnetic forces on the magnets. The output power of the trial pump, 1.0 W at 87 beats/min, is experimentally obtained under the pressure and fl- ow conditions of water, 100 mm Hg and 4.5 l/min.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:99 ,  Issue: 8 )