The paper proposes a numerical approach for the analysis of the blood flow in human aorta under real operating conditions. An ad-hoc procedure is developed for importing the aorta geometry from magnetic resonance imaging in order to have a patient based analysis. The aortic flow is simulated accounting for the dynamic behavior of the flow resulting from the heart pulse and for the non-Newtonian properties of blood. Fluid – structure analysis is carried out to address the mutual influence of the flow transient nature and the aorta walls’ deformation on the pressure flow field and tissue’s stresses. Finite element method approach is used for the structural analysis of the aorta walls which are assumed as a linear elastic isotropic material; nevertheless, different regions are introduced to account for the Young modulus variation from the ascending aorta to the common iliac arteries. Mesh morphing techniques are adopted to simulate the wall deformation and a two equation turbulence model is adopted to include the turbulence effects.
The proposed numerical approach is validated against the measurements carried out on magnetic resonance imaging scanner and a good agreement is found in terms of aorta wall maximum and minimum deformation during the cardiac cycle. Therefore, the fluid-structure analysis can provide an important tool to extend the insight of the aortic system from magnetic resonance imaging techniques and improve the understanding of arteriosclerosis and the related phenomena as well as their dependence on flow structure and tissue stresses.