Biofluid Flow and Heat Transfer
Fluid mechanics, dissolved species transport and particle dynamics phenomena play major roles in normal and pathological processes occurring in the human body. Most evident on the macro-scale are the transport phenomena associated with blood flow supplying oxygen and nutrients to organs, and airflow in the lung enabling the O2 – CO2 gas exchange. On the micro-scale, it appears that complex particle-hemodynamics can trigger biochemical responses at the cellular level that could lead to stenosed arteries, aortic heart-valve failure, or aneurysm rupture.
Clearly, the study of biofluid mechanics relies greatly on the traditional and modern topics presented in Chaps. 1–8. It also benefits from advanced computational fluid-particle dynamics and computational fluid–structure interaction (FSI) simulations (see Chap. 10). Such (validated) results can be used to gain physical insight into complex flow phenomena to a depth simply not attainable with experiments alone. However, the ultimate goals on a patient-specific basis, i.e., an understanding of the biofluid transport processes and subsequently the development of therapeutic techniques or medical devices, pose major challenges. For example, on a micro-scale most biochemical processes area not well understood, i.e., comprehensive equations/models and accurate data sets are not established. Best numerical techniques for multi-scale problems with a broad range of Reynolds and Stokes numbers as well as FSI phenomena are still under development. Simulating transport phenomena in complex organs, e.g., patient-specific lung airways, requires peta-scale computing which is presently even taxing for the world’s fastest and largest supercomputer.
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