Viscous flow simulation in a stenosis model using discrete particle dynamics: A comparison between DPD and CFD

Rui Feng, Michalis Xenos, Gaurav Girdhar, Wei Kang, James W. Davenport, Yuefan Deng, Danny Bluestein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Flowand stresses induced by blood flowacting on the blood cellular constituents can be represented to a certain extent by a continuum mechanics approach down to the order of the?mlevel.However, the molecular effects of, e.g., adhesion/ aggregation bonds of blood clotting can be on the order of nm. The coupling of the disparate length and timescales between such molecular levels and macroscopic transport represents a major computational challenge. To address this challenge, a multiscale numerical approach based on discrete particle dynamics (DPD) methodology derived from molecular dynamics (MD) principles is proposed. The feasibility of the approach was firstly tested for its ability to simulate viscous flow conditions. Simulations were conducted in low Reynolds numbers flows (Re = 25-33) through constricted tubes representing blood vessels with various degrees of stenosis. Multiple discrete particles interacting with each other were simulated, with 1.24-1.36 million particles representing the flow domain and 0.4 million particles representing the vessel wall. The computation was carried out on themassive parallel supercomputerNYBlueGene/L employing NAMD-a parallel MD package for high performance computing (HPC). Typical recirculation zones were formed distal to the stenoses. The velocity profiles and recirculation zones were in excellent agreement with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) 3D Navier-Stokes viscous fluid flow simulations and with classic numerical and experimental results by YC Fung in constricted tubes. This feasibility analysis demonstrates the potential of a methodology that widely departs from a continuum approach to simulate multiscale phenomena such as flow induced blood clotting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-129
Number of pages11
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Discrete particle dynamics
  • Lennard-Jones potential
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Parallelcomputing
  • Viscous flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering


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