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Project CSF-Dyn - DNS of Cerebrospinal Fluid Dynamics

SDL Highly Scalable Fluids & Solids Engineering

Project partners

Project description

The cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) fills cerebral ventricles and subarachnoid spaces of the human central nerve system (CNS). The CSF dynamics are responsible for several prominent diseases, e.g., an increased intracranial pressure (ICP) may lead to hydrocephalus. Under abnormal CSF conditions, the specific etiologies are hardly understood. Biomechanical interactions between the components of the CNS are complex and need further investigations. When symptoms occur with no disease characteristics, e.g., at normal pressure a hydrocephalus is present, clinical decision-making is quite difficult.

For a normal healthy human the typical Reynolds number is on the order of O(102). The physiological mechanisms of the CSF circulation, however, develop vortical flow structures which exhibit a turbulent-like motion. They are induced by the difference in systolic and dias- tolic velocities and the interactions of micro-structures with the fluids. The impact of pulsatile flow parameters on the CSF dynamics will be investigated in detail in CSF-Dyn such that the findings can be applied to physiological and further engineering problems. To achieve a therapeutic basis, the simulation of complex anatomical geometries interacting with pulsatile flows requires high resolutions. This necessitates to use HPC systems.

The outcomes of this study have the potential to be expanded to various areas within fluid mechanics and to numerical models of CNS. High-resolution computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses could lead to a better understanding of the pathophysiological basis of a number of diseases with dysfunctions of the CSF flow, e.g., normal pressure hydrocephalus and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Project publications:

[1]Koh, S.-R., Kim, J.-H., & Lintermann, A. (2020). Numerical Analysis of Oscillatory Flows in the Human Brain by a lattice-Boltzmann method. 14th World Congress on Computational Mechanics (WCCM) ECCOMAS Congress 2020, accepted. Paris, France.