In this study we have employed a single channel, pulsed ultrasonic Doppler velocimeter to measure instantaneous velocity distributions within the pumping chamber of a ventricular assist device. Instantaneous velocities have been decomposed into periodic mean and turbulent fluctuating components from which estimates of Reynolds stresses within the chamber and mean shear stresses along the wall of the chamber have been obtained. A review of the complete data set indicates a maximum value of the mean wall shear stress of 25 dynes/cm2 and a maximum Reynolds stress of 212 dynes/cm2. These values are lower than those measured distal to aortic valve prostheses in vitro and are well below levels known to damage blood components. Core flow patterns, wall washing patterns and flow stagnation points are also revealed.

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