Faculty of Engineering Technology
Department Engineering Fluid Dynamics
Master programme Mechanical Engineering
As part of his / her masterassignment
will hold a speech entitled:
Modelling blood flow in the human arterial tree: In search of hemodynamic causes for complications during ECMO therapy
Extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a therapy used to support patients suffering from respiratory or cardiac failure. In femoral va-ECMO, blood is drawn from a femoral vein, oxygenated and pumped back into a femoral artery. Complications in patients undergoing this therapy occur frequently. This study aims to find flow related causes for complications, particularly acute-kidney injury (AKI), by means of modelling blood flow in the human arterial system.
For the first model, three-dimensional flow simulations of blood through a renal artery is performed. Results show additional pressure losses due to flow reversal in the aorta are minor (up to 100 Pa or 0.75 mmHg) and therefore an unlikely cause for AKI.
The second model aims to simulate the dynamics of the complete arterial tree, by taking 55 arterial segments and formulating each into an electrical network. The network model allows easy configuration changes, making it possible to simulate several ECMO settings and vascular diseases. The most profound effect of ECMO is the significant decrease in pulsatility, which may play a role in the development of AKI. Furthermore, the interface between blood from the native and ECMO circulation can easily be found using this model. If the patient is suffering from impaired pulmonary function, blood from the native circulation will have poor oxygen saturation, leading to hypoxia in some organs.