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A locally conservative Galerkin approach for subject-specific biofluid dynamics. / Rhodri L.T Bevan

Swansea University Author: Rhodri L.T, Bevan

Abstract

In this thesis, a parallel solver was developed for the modelling of blood flow through a number of patient-specific geometries. A locally conservative Galerkin (LCG) spatial discretisation was applied along with an artificial compressibility and characteristic based split (CBS) scheme to solve the...

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Published: 2010
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Doctoral
Degree name: Ph.D
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa42314
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Abstract: In this thesis, a parallel solver was developed for the modelling of blood flow through a number of patient-specific geometries. A locally conservative Galerkin (LCG) spatial discretisation was applied along with an artificial compressibility and characteristic based split (CBS) scheme to solve the 3D incompressible Navier-Stokes equations. The Spalart-Allmaras one equation turbulence model was also optionally employed. The solver was constructed using FORTRAN and the Message Passing Interface (MPI). Parallel testing demonstrated linear or better than linear speedup on hybrid patient-specific meshes. These meshes were unstructured with structured boundary layers. From the parallel testing it is clear that the significance of inter-processor communication is negligible in a three dimensional case. Preliminary tests on a short patient-specific carotid geometry demonstrated the need for ten or more boundary layer meshes in order to sufficiently resolve the peak wall shear stress (WSS) along with the peak time-averaged WSS. A time sensitivity study was also undertaken along with the assessment of the order of the real time step term. Three backward difference formulae (BDF) were tested and no significant difference between them was detected. Significant speedup was possible as the order of time discretisation increased however, making the choice of BDF important in producing a timely solution. Followed by the preliminary investigation, four more carotid geometries were investigated in detail. A total of six haemodynamic wall parameters have been brought together to analyse the regions of possible atherogenesis within each carotid. The investigations revealed that geometry plays an overriding influence on the wall parameter distribution. Each carotid artery displayed high time-averaged WSS at the apex, although the value increased significantly with a proximal stenosis. Two out of four meshes contained a region of low time-averaged WSS distal to the flow divider and within the largest connecting artery (internal or external carotid artery), indicating a potential region of atherosclerosis plaque formation. The remaining two meshes already had a stenosis in the corresponding region. This is in excellent agreement with other established works. From the investigations, it is apparent that a classification system of stenosis severity may be possible with potential application as a clinical diagnosis aid. Finally, the flow within a thoracic aortic aneurysm was investigated in order to assess the influence of a proximal folded neck. The folded neck had a significant effect on the wall shear stress, increasing by up to 250% over an artificially smoothed neck. High wall shear stresses may be linked to aneurysm rupture. Being proximal to the aneurysm, this indicated that local geometry should be taken into account when assessing the rupture potential of an aneurysm.
Keywords: Computer science.;Fluid mechanics.
College: College of Engineering