Patient-Specific Modelling of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Flow Problems – Challenges
Patient-specific or subject-specific biofluid dynamics modelling has been an active area of research over the last 10 years. This is one of the advancing areas of research in computer-assisted biomechanics and it has started making an impact in terms of clinical use. However, the progress has been slow and the day-to-day use of modelling as a clinical tool is a long way away. This presentation investigates the genuine reasons for the slow progress and it also addresses how progress could be accelerated.
A patient-specific study normally includes some form of data from a patient. For biofluid dynamics studies, scan and/or flow rate is often available. The scan is first processed and the geometry is reconstructed using appropriate reconstruction tools. Establishing the accuracy of reconstruction and the implications of inaccuracy is still an unresolved research problem. The reconstructed geometry is meshed and a flow solver along with an appropriate flow/structure boundary condition (measured or assumed) is applied to obtain a steady- or unsteady-state solution depending on the requirement. The solution could be used either in making a clinical decision or to understand the problem better.
The main challenges of patient-specific fluid dynamics studies are in the translational aspects. Many research groups all over the world are carrying out research in this area but no consistent effort is made in identifying the problems relevant to translational aspects. The translational element consists of two difficulties. They are (i) technological issues and (ii) implementation issues. Technological issues are associated with the accuracy and difficulties associated with automating the technology. The implementation issues include the general scepticism and general lack of strong interdisciplinary understanding. This lecture will discuss both aspects in detail.