Supercomputer simulates whole-body blood flow


superconductorA new supercomputer simulation of blood moving around the entire human body compares extremely well with real-world flow measurements, researchers say.

The software uses a 3D representation of every artery that is 1mm across or wider, scanned from a single person.

Its accuracy passed a first key test when physicists compared blood flow in the virtual aorta with the that of real fluid in a 3D-printed replica.

Flow patterns seen in the physical copy were a good match for the simulation.

This was the case even when the fluid passing through the plastic aorta – and the virtual blood passing through the simulated aorta – was moving in pulses, to mimic the way blood is pumped by the heart.

“We’re getting extremely close results both in the steady flow and the pulsatile, which is very exciting,” lead researcher Amanda Randles, from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, told BBC News.

She presented the findings – including the comparison with a 3D-printed aorta – this week at the American Physical Society’s March Meeting in Baltimore. The whole-body simulation itself was first unveiled at a computer science conference in November.


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