Immersed boundary finite element method for blood flow simulation

G. C. Bourantas, D. S. Lampropoulos, B. F. Zwick, V. C. Loukopoulos, A. Wittek, K. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


We present an efficient and accurate immersed boundary (IB) finite element (FE) method for numerically solving the incompressible Navier–Stokes equations. Particular emphasis is given to internal flows with complex geometries (blood flow in the vasculature system). IB methods are computationally costly for internal flows, mainly due to the large percentage of grid points that lie outside the flow domain. In this study, we apply a local refinement strategy, along with a domain reduction approach, in order to reduce the grid that covers the flow domain and increase the percentage of grid nodes that fall inside the flow domain. The proposed method utilizes an efficient and accurate FE solver with the incremental pressure correction scheme (IPCS), along with the boundary condition enforced IB method to numerically solve the transient, incompressible Navier–Stokes flow equations. We verify the accuracy of the numerical method using the analytical solution for Poiseuille flow in a cylinder. We further examine the accuracy and applicability of the proposed method by considering flow within complex geometries, such as blood flow in aneurysmal vessels and the aorta, flow configurations which would otherwise be extremely difficult to solve by most IB methods. Our method offers high accuracy, as demonstrated by the verification examples, and high efficiency, as demonstrated through the solution of blood flow within complex geometry on an off-the-shelf laptop computer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105162
JournalComputers and Fluids
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021


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