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Bodyof evidence

Beth Harlen presents two case studies exploring how modelling and simulation are changing the face of medical research

Case Study: Alya Red: HPC-based cardiac computational modelling

simulation tool, it is fully developed in-house, from the numerical methods up to the parallel implementation, including mesh-generation and visualisation. A computational mechanics code for multiphysics, Alya System is designed to run in large-scale supercomputing facilities and is capable of solving different physics problems in a coupled way, each one with its own modelling characteristics, such as fluids, solids, electrical activity, species concentration and free surface. Te Alya Red project focused on the


development of a cardiac computational model at organ level, in order to provide

Each aspect of the heart is computationally complicated and time consuming

lya Red is Barcelona Supercomputing Center’s (BSC) flagship project in biomechanics. Taking its name from Alya System, BSC’s main

medical scientists with aids to understanding and diagnosing these biological systems. Te collaboration involves medical doctors from several hospitals, image researchers, bioengineers and computational scientists. Mariano Vázquez, high-performance computational mechanics team leader, BSC- CNS (Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación), explains that as an organ, the heart works at a level of three different physical problems: the electrical activation, the muscular deformation and the blood. Each aspect is complicated and time consuming in terms of computational resources, he says, but the multiphysics simulations solve this combined problem. Concentrating specifically on the

computational mechanics, there has been a natural progression in his group’s research. ‘We began by focusing on the electrical aspect and once we had that working the medical doctors questioned why we weren’t also focusing on the mechanical part of the heart. Ten, as we worked in the basics of computational mechanics, we were asked to simulate the solid mechanics, and then the blood flow,’ says Vázquez. He adds that



Barcelona Supercomputing Center

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