Flow simulations are rutinely used in the pharmecautical industry for instance in the design of the drug-releasing devices. In this case the specific dose of the medicine is of highest importance and the detailed flow models of the drug diffusion of the droplet formation are required. Also devices such as respirators or blood pumps can be optimized using CFD methods. Check out the movies of the simulations of a peristaltic pump and the H-junction for the drug release.
On the other hand, the so-called patient-specific medical applications are under development. These combine the medical imaging (for instance Computer Tomography, CT, or angiography) with physical models of blood and soft tissues.
The fluid and heat flow models can be used for instance in the following medical domains:
- estimating the wall shear stress (WSS) on the arterial walls. There is strong evidence that the flow conditions induce pathological tissue development in form of cardiacs. That occurs in the aorta flow as well as in brain vessels.
- prediction of pressure drop in the vessels – that can give relevant data for estimation of the level of stenosis and the oxygenation deficiency in the coronary arteries. Combined with the state-of-the-art imaging techniques, CFD could be used to create a non-invasive Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) model.
- modelling other transport phenomena in organs for purpose of localized medical intervention.
Simulation of pulsatile blood flow - non-Newtonian rheology, the so-called Carreau-Yasuda model. The shear rate on the carotid sides is shown. Its value needs to be kept below certain threshold to prevent development of abnormal tissue growth that leads to aneurysm.
Flow in the peristaltic blood pump. In order not to introduce large shear forces on the blood cells the flow is driven solely by the motion of the side walls. In reality, it is generated by a rotating element. Such mesh deformations are readily handled in the Toolbox.