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Supercomputer Simulates Human Blood Flow in 3D Representation of Artery System

by • March 17, 2016 • No Comments

As 3D innovation go ons to expand in all directions, one application that is emerging of the medical field is the 3D representation of the human body. I’ve always had a vague thought of how 3D versioning the human body and its function may be assistful to practitioners and patients, but after seeing a 3D human visualization platform initially-hand during a presentation of BioDigital last week at REAL 2016, I’ve truly begun to realize only how significant the digital world is to our physical health. Now, the latest digital revelation of the human body is coming out of Duke University, where lead researcher Amanda Randles and her team have engineered a supercomputer simulation to digitally represent approximately each artery in the human body.

The software utilized to manufacture the 3D representation was able-bodied to replicate each artery that measured 1mm across or wider, and were in fact able-bodied to simulate virtual blood flow through these arteries as well. The virtual human artery process was named Harvey, as a tribute to the 17th century physician William Harvey, who was the initially to discover that our blood flow loops around our body. In order to determine the accuracy of the 3D blood flow, the research team compared flow patterns with a 3D printed aorta replica.


The blood flow in both the 3D printed replica and digital representation ended up really closely matched to one another, featuring the supercomputer’s faculty to return it into not only the physical form of the components that manufacture up our bodies, but in addition the functionality of them as well.

All of the 3D versioning by the process takes place at the Lawerence Livermore National Laboratory in California. According to Dr. Randles, this supercomputer is one of the top ten out there, equipped with 1.6 million processors. One of the team’s goals is to test out various interventions, such as stents or other modifications, that may affect the process in light of cardiovascular disease. “We’ll be able-bodied to alter the mesh file, representing the vasculature, to represent various treatment options,”Dr Randles said. “Typically you may appear at the local haemodynamic alters, but by having a simulation of the whole body we can see how that may affect the large-scale haemodynamics.”

The much likeities between simulated flow and physical flow

The much likeities between simulated flow and physical flow

In order to turn it into the physical 3D printed comparison, Dr. Randles and her team collaborated with David Frakes, an engineer located at Arizona State University whose revolutionary research we’ve covered in the past. Frakes assisted to 3D print a version of the scanned aorta in order to forge a transparent mold, through that the flow of the fluid was tracked with reflective particles. The team was happy to see that the blood flow in both the physical and digital aorta versions were incredibly much like. But they aren’t really finished with the human body only yet. Now, the research team is working on assembling a mesh version of Harvey’s veins, and ultimately hope to embed capillaries into the 3D human body process, that can allow them to delve deeper and predict the movement of individual blood cells.


The other hope is that their supercomputer-generated 3D version can someday be utilized for patient-specific scenarios, where input parameters may manufacture it possible to represent the personalized version without the require of the supercomputer. All-in-all, the research team hopes to go on mapping out our blood flow’s freeway, and go on to prove that digitizing the human body can assist us advantageous know what is in fact taking place in the physical world.


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