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Multiblock high order Large Eddy Simulation of powered Fontan hemodynamics: Towards computational surgery


Children born with only one functional ventricle must typically undergo a series of three surgeries to obtain the so-called Fontan circulation in which the blood coming from the body passively flows from the Vena Cavae (VCs) to the Pulmonary Arteries (PAs) through the Total Cavopulmonary Connection (TCPC). The circulation is inherently inefficient due to the lack of a subpulmonary ventricle. Survivors face the risk of circulatory sequelae and eventual failure for the duration of their lives. Current efforts are focused on improving the outcomes of Fontan palliation, either passively by optimizing the TCPC, or actively by using mechanical support. We are working on a chronic implant that would be placed at the junction of the TCPC, and would provide the necessary pressure augmentation to re-establish a circulation that recapitulates a normal two-ventricle circulation. This implant is based on the Von Karman viscous pump and consists of a vaned impeller that rotates inside the TCPC. To evaluate the performance of such a device, and to study the flow features induced by the presence of the pump, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is used.