Validation of the Reduced Unified Continuum Formulation Against In Vitro 4D-Flow MRI

Ann Biomed Eng. 2023 Feb;51(2):377-393. doi: 10.1007/s10439-022-03038-4. Epub 2022 Aug 13.


We previously introduced and verified the reduced unified continuum formulation for vascular fluid-structure interaction (FSI) against Womersley's deformable wall theory. Our present work seeks to investigate its performance in a patient-specific aortic setting in which assumptions of idealized geometries and velocity profiles are invalid. Specifically, we leveraged 2D magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 4D-flow MRI to extract high-resolution anatomical and hemodynamic information from an in vitro flow circuit embedding a compliant 3D-printed aortic phantom. To accurately reflect experimental conditions, we numerically implemented viscoelastic external tissue support, vascular tissue prestressing, and skew boundary conditions enabling in-plane vascular motion at each inlet and outlet. Validation of our formulation is achieved through close quantitative agreement in pressures, lumen area changes, pulse wave velocity, and early systolic velocities, as well as qualitative agreement in late systolic flow structures. Our validated suite of FSI techniques offers a computationally efficient approach for numerical simulation of vascular hemodynamics. This study is among the first to validate a cardiovascular FSI formulation against an in vitro flow circuit involving a compliant vascular phantom of complex patient-specific anatomy.

Keywords: Compliant 3D printing; Fluid–structure interaction; In vitro validation; Magnetic resonance imaging; Pulse wave velocity.

MeSH terms

  • Aorta / diagnostic imaging
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Computer Simulation
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Pulse Wave Analysis*