In Vitro and In Silico Study of Hemodynamics In Vascular Models: Validating Computational Fluid Dynamics for Medical Application
This study investigates the application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to the medical field. An overview of recent advances in computational simulation and modeling in medical applications is provided, with a particular emphasis on CFD. This study attempts to validate CFD and demonstrate the possibility for applying CFD to the clinical treatment and evaluation of atherosclerotic disease. Three different geometric configurations are investigated: one idealized bifurcation with a primary diameter of 8 mm, and two different patient-specific models of the bifurcation from the common femoral artery to the superficial and deep femoral arteries. CFD is compared against experimental measurements of steady state and pulsatile flow acquired with Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). Steady state and pulsatile flow rates that are consistent with those observed in the femoral artery are used. In addition, pulsatile CFD simulations are analyzed in order to demonstrate meaningful clinical applications for studying and evaluating the treatment of atherosclerotic disease. CFD was successfully validated for steady state flow, with an average percent error of 6.991%. Potential for validation was also demonstrated for pulsatile flow, but methodological errors warrant further investigation to reformulate methods and analyze results. Quantities frequently associated with atherosclerotic disease and arterial bifurcations, such as large variations in wall shear stress and the presence of recirculation zones are demonstrated from the pulsatile CFD simulations. Further study is required in order to evaluate whether or not such phenomena are represented by CFD accurately. Further study must also be performed in order to evaluate the practicality and utility of CFD for the evaluation of atherosclerotic disease treatment.