Research

Blood Flow Simulations

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Though we may not often consider it, our bodies are full of fluid dynamics. Blood flow is a prime example, and, in this video, researchers describe their simulations of flow through the left side of the heart. Beginning with 3D medical imaging of a patient’s heart, they construct a computational domain – a meshed virtual heart that imitates the shape and movements of the real heart. Then, after solving the governing equations with an additional model for turbulence, the researchers can observe flow inside a beating heart. Each cycle consists of two phases. In the first, oxygenated blood fills the ventricle from the atrium. This injection of fresh blood generates a vortex ring. Near the end of this phase, the blood mixes strongly and appears to be mildly turbulent. In the second phase, the ventricle contracts, ejecting the blood out into the body and drawing freshly oxygenated blood into the atrium. (Video credit: C. Chnafa et al.)

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