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Our aim is to develop a physically correct simulation of blood flow through intracranial aneurysms. It shall provide means to estimate rupture risks by calculating the distribution of pressure and shear stresses in an intracranial aneurysm, in order to support the planning of clinical interventions. Due to the time-critical nature of the application, we are forced to use the most efficient state-of-the-art numerical methods and technologies together with high performance computing (HPC) infrastructures. The Navier-Stokes equations for the blood flow are discretized via the finite element method (FEM), and the resulting linear equation systems are handled by an algebraic multigrid (AMG) solver. First comparisons of our simulation results with commercial CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software already show good medical relevance for diagnostic decision support. Another challenge is the visualization of our simulation results at acceptable interaction response rates. Physicians require quick and highly interactive visualization of velocity, pressure and stress to be able to assess the rupture risk of an individual vessel morphology. To meet these demands, parallel visualization techniques and high performance computing resources are utilized. In order to provide physicians with access to remote HPC resources which are not available at every hospital, computing infrastructure of the Austrian Grid is utilized for simulation and visualization.
Date of Conference: 25-28 Oct. 2010