Multiblock high order Large Eddy Simulation of powered Fontan hemodynamics: Towards computational surgery

Yann T. Delorme, Mark D. Rodefeld, Steven H. Frankel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children born with only one functional ventricle must typically undergo a series of three surgeries to obtain the so-called Fontan circulation in which the blood coming from the body passively flows from the Vena Cavae (VCs) to the Pulmonary Arteries (PAs) through the Total Cavopulmonary Connection (TCPC). The circulation is inherently inefficient due to the lack of a subpulmonary ventricle. Survivors face the risk of circulatory sequelae and eventual failure for the duration of their lives. Current efforts are focused on improving the outcomes of Fontan palliation, either passively by optimizing the TCPC, or actively by using mechanical support. We are working on a chronic implant that would be placed at the junction of the TCPC, and would provide the necessary pressure augmentation to re-establish a circulation that recapitulates a normal two-ventricle circulation. This implant is based on the Von Karman viscous pump and consists of a vaned impeller that rotates inside the TCPC. To evaluate the performance of such a device, and to study the flow features induced by the presence of the pump, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is used. CFD has become an important tool to understand hemodynamics owing to the possibility of simulating quickly a large number of designs and flow conditions without any harm for patients. The transitional and unsteady nature of the flow can make accurate simulations challenging. We developed and in-house high order Large Eddy Simulation (LES) solver coupled to a recent Immersed Boundary Method (IBM) to handle complex geometries. Multiblock capability is added to the solver to allow for efficient simulations of complex patient specific geometries. Blood simulations are performed in a complex patient specific TCPC geometry. In this study, simulations without mechanical assist are performed, as well as after virtual implantation of the temporary and chronic implants being developed. Instantaneous flow structures, hepatic factor distribution, and statistical data are presented for all three cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-31
Number of pages16
JournalComputers and Fluids
StatePublished - 17 Jan 2017


  • Computational surgery
  • Large Eddy Simulation
  • Multiblock Immersed Boundary Method
  • Powered Fontan hemodynamics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Computer Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiblock high order Large Eddy Simulation of powered Fontan hemodynamics: Towards computational surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this