Cardiovascular Diseases, the common name for various Heart Diseases, are responsible for nearly 17.3 million deaths annually and remain the leading global cause of death in the world. It is estimated that this number will grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030, with almost 80% of all cases taking place in low and middle income countries. Surgical treatment of these diseases involves the use of blood-wetted devices, whose relatively recent development has given rise to numerous possibilities for design improvements. However, blood can be damaged when flowing through these devices due to the lack of biocompatibility of surrounding walls, thermal and osmotic effects and most prominently, due to the excessive exposure of blood cells to shear stress for prolonged periods of time. This extended exposure may lead to a rupture of membrane of red blood cells, resulting in a release of hemoglobin into the blood plasma, in a process called hemolysis. Moreover, exposure of platelets to high shear stresses can increase the likelihood of thrombosis. Therefore, regions of high shear stress and residence time of blood cells must be considered thoroughly during the design of blood-contacting devices. Though laboratory tests are vital for design improvements, in-vitro experiments have proven to be costly, time-intensive and ethically controversial. On the other hand, simulating blood behavior using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is considered to be an inexpensive and promising tool to help predicting blood damage in complex flows. Nevertheless, current state-of-the-art CFD models of blood flow to predict hemolysis are still far from being fully reliable and accurate for design purposes. Previous work have demonstrated that prediction of hemolysis can be dramatically improved when using a multiphase (i.e., phases are plasma, red blood cells and platelets) model of the blood instead of assuming the blood as a homogeneous mixture. Nonetheless, the accurate determination of how the cells segregate becomes the critical issue in reaching a truthful prediction of blood damage. Therefore, the attempt of this study is to develop and validate a numerical model based on Granular Kinetic Theory (GKT) for solid phases (i.e., cells treated as particles) that provides an improved prediction of blood cells segregation within the flow in a microtube. Simulations were based on finite volume method using Eulerian-Eulerian modeling for treatment of three-phase (liquid-red blood cells and platelets) flow including the GKT to deal with viscous properties of the solid phases. GKT proved to be a good model to predict particle concentration and pressure drop by taking into account the contribution of collisional, kinetic and frictional effects in the stress tensor of the segregated solid phases. Preliminary results show that the improved segregated model leads to a better prediction of spatial distribution of blood cells. Simulations were performed using ANSYS FLUENT platform.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.