In-vitro investigation of a potential wave pumping effect in human aorta
An impedance pump – also known as Liebau pump – is a simple valveless pump that operates based on the principles of wave propagation and reflection. It has been shown in embryonic zebrafish that a similar mechanism is responsible for the pumping action in the embryonic heart during the early stages before valve formation. Recent studies suggest that the cardiovascular system is designed to take advantage of wave propagation and reflection phenomena in the arterial network. In this study we report the results of an in-vitro study that examines the hypothesis that the adult human aorta acts as a passive pump based on Liebau effect. A hydraulic model with different compliant models of an artificial aorta was used for a series of in-vitro experiments. Our result indicates that wave propagation and reflection can result in a pumping mechanism in a compliant aorta.
© 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Accepted 4 July 2013. N.M. Pahlevan acknowledges support from the American Heart Association (AHA) Predoctoral fellowship.