August 9, 2019

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Simulating Blood Flow at the Cellular Level


Amanda Randles’s revolutionary supercomputer blood flow simulator HARVEY is poised to improve the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of human diseases

Amanda Randles, the Alfred Winborne Mordecai and Victoria Stover Mordecai Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University, is developing a massively parallel fluid dynamics simulation called HARVEY capable of modeling the full human arterial system at subcellular resolution. The visionary program is already fostering discoveries that could improve the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of human diseases.

With a long history of developing and applying high-performance computing to biomedical problems, HARVEY combined Randles’s knowledge of applied physics, computational methods and parallel computing to develop a physiologically accurate model of the movement of red blood cells throughout the body. One of her recent successes mapped 500 billion fluid points using a supercomputer with 1.6 million cores (individual processors), marking the first time a researcher had been able to effectively model the flow of blood at the cellular level.

Former Duke undergraduate turned research associate Harvey Shi is working to create a Graphical User Interface for the program. Once completed, physicians will be able to use virtual reality or augmented reality systems to better understand an individual’s blood flow to make more informed decisions about treatment options such as where to place a stent. Randles is also working to simulate how circulating tumor cells move through the vascular system to predict where they’re likely to end up and begin forming a new tumor.

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[Originally posted by Duke Pratt School of Engineering — August 6, 2019]