- Identified high risk regions
- Unsteady flow physics visualised
Figure 1: Velocity of pulsing blood flow through an artery section.
In the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields there is a growing demand for accurate modelling of phenomena within the human body. Small scale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are particularly useful for the development of pharmaceutical instruments and for disease diagnosis. Synergetics performed a case study to demonstrate the insight that these types of simulations can provide.
Synergetics modelled pulsing blood flow through a small artery section in this study. The simulations clearly demonstrate how the flow velocity, pressure distribution, and shear stress vary across the pulse cycle. The vessel wall geometry’s effect on the propagation of blood through the artery is illustrated by the velocity field animation.
This modelling can also be extended to test the effects of obstacles, such as thrombi (commonly referred to as blood clots) or plaque build-up, on flow through the artery. The regions where thrombi are likely to form can be revealed by the shear stress distribution since thrombosis is accelerated by high shear stress. Additionally, we can investigate critical points for the vessel walls, where damage is most likely to occur, by using the pressure distribution. We can also use a similar model to study the effects of changes in fluid properties of the blood, damaged or diseased walls, implants, and other medical devices.
Figure 2: Synergetics used CFD to compute wall shear stress on vessel surfaces, indicating regions at increased risk of thrombosis.
For further examples of medical CFD see our sector page.