Parallel multiscale simulations of a brain aneurysm

L Grinberg and DA Fedosov and GE Karniadakis, JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS, 244, 131-147 (2013).

DOI: 10.1016/

Cardiovascular pathologies, such as a brain aneurysm, are affected by the global blood circulation as well as by the local microrheology. Hence, developing computational models for such cases requires the coupling of disparate spatial and temporal scales often governed by diverse mathematical descriptions, e.g., by partial differential equations (continuum) and ordinary differential equations for discrete particles (atomistic). However, interfacing atomistic-based with continuum-based domain discretizations is a challenging problem that requires both mathematical and computational advances. We present here a hybrid methodology that enabled us to perform the first multiscale simulations of platelet depositions on the wall of a brain aneurysm. The large scale flow features in the intracranial network are accurately resolved by using the high-order spectral element Navier-Stokes solver N epsilon kappa T alpha r. The blood rheology inside the aneurysm is modeled using a coarse-grained stochastic molecular dynamics approach (the dissipative particle dynamics method) implemented in the parallel code LAMMPS. The continuum and atomistic domains overlap with interface conditions provided by effective forces computed adaptively to ensure continuity of states across the interface boundary. A two-way interaction is allowed with the time-evolving boundary of the (deposited) platelet clusters tracked by an immersed boundary method. The corresponding heterogeneous solvers (N epsilon kappa T alpha r and LAMMPS) are linked together by a computational multilevel message passing interface that facilitates modularity and high parallel efficiency. Results of multiscale simulations of clot formation inside the aneurysm in a patient-specific arterial tree are presented. We also discuss the computational challenges involved and present scalability results of our coupled solver on up to 300 K computer processors. Validation of such coupled atomistic-continuum models is a main open issue that has to be addressed in future work. (c) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Return to Publications page