Large eddy simulation of powered Fontan hemodynamics

Y. Delorme, K. Anupindi, A. E. Kerlo, D. Shetty, M. Rodefeld, J. Chen, S. Frankel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Children born with univentricular heart disease typically must undergo three open heart surgeries within the first 2-3 years of life to eventually establish the Fontan circulation. In that case the single working ventricle pumps oxygenated blood to the body and blood returns to the lungs flowing passively through the Total Cavopulmonary Connection (TCPC) rather than being actively pumped by a subpulmonary ventricle. The TCPC is a direct surgical connection between the superior and inferior vena cava and the left and right pulmonary arteries. We have postulated that a mechanical pump inserted into this circulation providing a 3-5 mmHg pressure augmentation will reestablish bi-ventricular physiology serving as a bridge-to-recovery, bridge-to-transplant or destination therapy as a "biventricular Fontan" circulation. The Viscous Impeller Pump (VIP) has been proposed by our group as such an assist device. It is situated in the center of the 4-way TCPC intersection and spins pulling blood from the vena cavae and pushing it into the pulmonary arteries. We hypothesized that Large Eddy Simulation (LES) using high-order numerical methods are needed to capture unsteady powered and unpowered Fontan hemodynamics. Inclusion of a mechanical pump into the CFD further complicates matters due to the need to account for rotating machinery. In this study, we focus on predictions from an in-house high-order LES code (WenoHemoTM) for unpowered and VIP-powered idealized TCPC hemodynamics with quantitative comparisons to Stereoscopic Particle Imaging Velocimetry (SPIV) measurements. Results are presented for both instantaneous flow structures and statistical data. Simulations show good qualitative and quantitative agreement with measured data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-422
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 18 2013


  • Fontan circulation
  • High order large eddy simulation
  • Viscous impeller pump

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Delorme, Y., Anupindi, K., Kerlo, A. E., Shetty, D., Rodefeld, M., Chen, J., & Frankel, S. (2013). Large eddy simulation of powered Fontan hemodynamics. Journal of Biomechanics, 46(2), 408-422.