Mathematics Colloquia and Seminars

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"Is it possible to pump blood without valves?"


Speaker: Eunok Jung, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Location: 693 Kerr
Start time: Tue, Jan 23 2001, 4:10PM

Pumping blood in one direction is the main function of the heart, and the heart is equipped with valves that ensure unidirectional flow. Is it possible, though, to pump blood without valves? This project is intended to show by numerical simulation using the Immersed Boundary Method the possibility of a net flow that is generated by a valveless mechanism in a circulatory system. One of the applications of valveless pumping is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The mechanism of blood flow during CPR has been debated by two controversial theories: thoracic pump and cardiac pump mechanisms. In the thoracic pump model, it has been reported that the heart is viewed as a passive conduit for blood flow and a mitral valve remains open throughout the cardiac during CPR. However, in the cardiac pump model, the heart acts as a pump and its valves function normally during the entire cycle of CPR. Our computational model of valveless pumping might be applicable to the thoracic pump model. An optimized our model helps finding effective methods for maximizing blood flow during CPR and understanding the thoracic pump mechanism. For more realistic model of CPR, new computer simulations of the two controversial models, thoracic and cardiac pump, and the combined thoracic and cardiac pump model will be proposed. An immersed boundary heart model coupled with an electrical lumped parameter model for each mechanism will be constructed and the results from the simulations will be compared with the experimental data in humans.