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Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

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University of St. Thomas
School of Engineering

PI: John P. Abraham, Associate Fellow

Numerical Investigations of Biological Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer

Accurate numerical simulations of fluid flow in biological systems such as arteries, airway passages, and the urethra are necessary for understanding a number of biological phenomena. Applications include blood-flow simulations that can help predict blood clots, airflow simulations to help develop therapies for sleep apnia, and simulations of bio-fluid in the urethra, which may play a critical role in developing intra-urethral stents. In all these cases, simulating this fluid flow is complicated by the fact that the walls that bound the flow passage are not stationary, but rather move as the fluid passes through the channels. This interaction between fluid and the participating boundary is one of the most difficult of all simulation problems to solve.

The group has developed models that can be used to calculate fluid flows that are transitional (neither laminar nor turbulent). The model has been validated within the last year and now is being extended to a variety of practical application, including biomedical flows (blood flow in arteries, airway flow in lungs, etc.).

Group Members

Daniel W. Bettenhausen, Undergraduate Student
Ephraim M. Sparrow, Faculty Collaborator
Andy Chen, Graduate Student
Ryan Lovik, Graduate Student
Kurt Scholz, School of Engineering, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota
Robert M. Sweet, Faculty Collaborator
Jimmy Tong, Graduate Student