8th European Postgraduate Fluid Dynamics Conference

6th – 9th July 2016
Warsaw, Poland

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Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) of turbulent blood flow in the thoracic aorta using OpenFOAM

Pascal Corso1, Utku Gülan2, Firat Duru3, Sebastian Kozerke4, Markus Holzner1
1Institute of Environmental Engineering - ETH Zurich
2University of Zurich
3University Hospital of Zurich
4Institute for Biomedical Engineering - University and ETH Zurich
Having a comprehensive understanding of the physics of blood flow is of great interest to characterize pathological flows, improve in vivo measuring techniques and implement new therapeutic procedures in clinical pratice. The main aim is to establish reference numerical data sets to validate different methods for computing energy dissipation from flow sensitized 4D Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The present study focuses on DNS of turbulent blood flow in a rigid model of thoracic aorta using OpenFOAM.
In this paper, we present the extension and validation against numerical data in a simpler geometry (Fig.1a) of OpenFOAM capabilities to perform DNS of blood flow in the thoracic aorta (Fig.1b). To achieve the most accurate simulated flow fields, a comparison is made using different temporal discretization schemes and two pressure-velocity coupling algorithms. Attention is also paid to mesh-related non-orthogonality and skewness errors and to the definition of precise near wall cells.
Keywords: Aortic flow, Turbulence, Computational methods
Figure 1: DNS in (a) a straight stenosed aorta and the numerical validation data (Varghese S. S. et al. (2007), J. Fluid Mech., 582, 253-280) (b) an anatomically accurate aorta and the 3D-PTV comparison data (Gallo D. et al. (2014), J. Biomech., 47, 3149-3155)