Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of cranial cerebrospinal by t0231232


									          Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of cranial
                          cerebrospinal fluid flow
         Advisors: Bercan Siyahhan, Simone Bottan, Dr. Vartan Kurtcuoglu, Prof. D. Poulikakos

Numerical Biothermofluidic Transport Phenomea, Computational Fluid Dynamics
The cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) is a water-like fluid that surrounds the brain and the spinal
cord. It is produced mainly by the choroid plexuses which are highly vasculaturized
structures residing in the ventricles of the brain. The ventricles are four interconnected
chambers located at the center of the brain (Figure 1).

                        Figure 1: The anterior (a) and lateral (b) view of the ventricles.

Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies (LTNT)                                 August 2009
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The role of the CSF is manyfold within the cranio-spinal system. First of all it provides a
cushion for both the brain and the spinal cord forming a protection against mechanical
impact. It reduces the weight of the brain from 1.3-1.4 kilograms to 50 grams. The CSF
functions in the removal of waste products from the cranio-spinal space. It forms a
communication pathway for the neuroendocrine pathway by transporting hormones.
The CSF flow system, also termed as the third circulation, may lead to series diseases if it is
obstructed (hydrocephalus, chiari malformation, syringomyelia). The CSF circulation also
attracts attention from the pharmaceutical industry as it provides an alternative and a more
effective pathway for drug delivery. Hence it is crucial to study the flow pathways of the CSF
within the cranio-spinal space to establish an understanding of the mechanisms leading to
the aforementioned diseases, to design devices for their treatment and to identify important
factors in transport of substances for drug delivery.
Due to computational power and storage restrictions, the CSF circulation in the cranio-spinal
space has not been simulated with an exact geometry in its entirety. However, CFD
simulations for the third ventricle, the inferior part of the cranial space along with the fourth
ventricle, and the superior part of the cranial subarachnoid space have been performed
separately at the LTNT previously.

              Figure 2- The streamlines in the third ventricle obtained from the CFD simulations

Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies (LTNT)                                       August 2009
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 Figure 3- Velocity magnitude contours obtained from CFD simulations of the inferior and superior cranial CSF

Proposed Master’s Thesis
In the scope of this master’s thesis project, a CFD simulation for the exact geometry of the
whole cranial CSF domain will be performed.

Command of the English language.
Interest in the field of CFD.
Experience with a meshing software and FLUENT are preferred but is not a must.

Student’s Duties
1.      Extract and mesh the geometry for lateral ventricles from MRI images.
2.      Combine extracted lateral ventricles with the third ventricle, the fourth ventricle and
        the inferior cranial space, and the superior subarachnoid space.
3.      Use FLUENT to simulate the CSF flow in the cranial space.

Supervisor’s Duties
1.      Introduce the student to the anatomy and physiology of CSF.
2.      Assist the student in using the necessary software packages.
3.      Meet with the student on a regular bases to discuss problems and check on progress.

Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies (LTNT)                                         August 2009
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