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Keywords:

  • smoothed particle hydrodynamics;
  • oscillating and pulsatile flows;
  • moderate Reynolds number;
  • left heart ventricle;
  • particle resolution

SUMMARY

This paper aims to extend the application of smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), a meshfree particle method, to simulate flow inside a model of the heart's left ventricle (LV). This work is considered the first attempt to simulate flow inside a heart cavity using a meshfree particle method. Simulating this kind of flow, characterized by high pulsatility and moderate Reynolds number using SPH is challenging. As a consequence, validation of the computational code using benchmark cases is required prior to simulating the flow inside a model of the LV. In this work, this is accomplished by simulating an unsteady oscillating flow (pressure amplitude: A = 2500 N ∕ m3 and Womersley number: Wo = 16) and the steady lid-driven cavity flow (Re = 3200, 5000). The results are compared against analytical solutions and reference data to assess convergence. Then, both benchmark cases are combined and a pulsatile jet in a cavity is simulated and the results are compared with the finite volume method. Here, an approach to deal with inflow and outflow boundary conditions is introduced. Finally, pulsatile inlet flow in a rigid model of the LV is simulated. The results demonstrate the ability of SPH to model complex cardiovascular flows and to track the history of fluid properties. Some interesting features of SPH are also demonstrated in this study, including the relation between particle resolution and sound speed to control compressibility effects and also order of convergence in SPH simulations, which is consistently demonstrated to be between first-order and second-order at the moderate Reynolds numbers investigated. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.