Blood flow and pressure are the key parameters of circulation dynamics; regarding cardiovascular diseases valuable insight may be drawn from their spatial and temporal distribution. The research area Cardiovascular Diagnostics is dedicated to measurement, computation and assessment of circulation dynamics.
Aging and unhealthy living conditions, but also congenital malformations may cause significant, at the beginning often locally limited, damage to the heart and the vascular system. Most often found are stenosis (narrowed vessels), aneursmys (ballon-like dilation) and dissections (tear in the inner wall), particularly in the great arteries and in the coronary arteries. In the long run the primary risk lies in either rupture or complete occlusion of a vessel, both being usually lethal incidences.
While the pure existence of a damage to a vessel is - thanks to modern imaging technology - morphologically evident, its clinical risk stratification remains difficult. In order to answer questions about progredience, probability of rupture, and finally about urgency of a surgical intervention more reliably, deep analysis of circulation dynamics appears to be promising approach. Hence within this research area methods are developed to measure spatially and temporally resolved flow conditions, to visualize them, and to use them for predicting future behaviour by means of numerical simulations.
Tri-directional phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging is underlying imaging modality that delivers vector fields of blood flow. This data serves as basis for the vsualization of flow as well as for the computatin of other important measures, such as blood pressure. Numerical simulations (Computational Fluid Dynamics, CFD) are used additionally to analyze blood flow. These simulations also rely on imaging, for example regarding vessel geometry and inlet conditions.
Modelling and simulation of aortic diseases before endovascular therapy
Simulation of aortic flow