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3-D Model of Blood Flow By Supercomputer Predicts Heart Attacks

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coronary arteries

Coronary arteries showing the ramification of vessels and the red blood cells flowing in one subregion. The longest coronary arteries have a size of few centimeters and the red blood cells have a linear size of about 10 microns.

Credit: EPFL

The Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) has used the Cadmos supercomputer to develop software that can create an accurate model of an individual's cardiovascular system. The precision of the simulation of the complex system of blood flow in the heart is down to ten millionths of a meter or 10 microns, and takes up to six hours to create using a supercomputer.

"When studying the blood flow in arteries, one has to take into account a vast number of different fluid interactions that happen on different time scales and of different sizes," says project leader Simone Melchionna. Using a detailed heart scan, the simulation has to make sense of more than 1 billion variables to represent fluid containing 10 million red blood cells. EPFL also used a supercomputer in Germany to improve the precision of the program and allow for the visualization of the interaction of plasma, red blood cells, and micro-particles.

The software will enable doctors to predict heart disease much earlier. EPFL plans to develop the program for individual PCs, which will enable it to be used for clinical applications.

From Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
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