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Lucy Zhang : Modeling and Simulations of Fluid and Deformable-Structure Interactions in Bio-Mechanical Systems

Fluid-structure interactions exist in many aspects of our daily lives. Some biomedical engineering examples are blood flowing through a blood vessel and blood pumping in the heart. Fluid interacting with moving or deformable structures poses more numerical challenges for its complexity in dealing with transient and simultaneous interactions between the fluid and solid domains. To obtain stable, effective, and accurate solutions is not trivial. Traditional methods that are available in commercial software often generate numerical instabilities.

In this talk, a novel numerical solution technique, Immersed Finite Element Method (IFEM), is introduced for solving complex fluid-structure interaction problems in various engineering fields. The fluid and solid domains are fully coupled, thus yield accurate and stable solutions. The variables in the two domains are interpolated via a delta function that enables the use of non-uniform grids in the fluid domain, which allows the use of arbitrary geometry shapes and boundary conditions. This method extends the capabilities and flexibilities in solving various biomedical, traditional mechanical, and aerospace engineering problems with detailed and realistic mechanics analysis. Verification problems will be shown to validate the accuracy and effectiveness of this numerical approach. Several biomechanical problems will be presented: 1) blood flow in the left atrium and left atrial appendage which is the main source of blood in patients with atrial fibrillation. The function of the appendage is determined through fluid-structure interaction analysis, 2) examine blood cell and cell interactions under different flow shear rates. The formation of the cell aggregates can be predicted when given a physiologic shear rate.

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