Modeling the flow of dense suspensions of deformable particles in three dimensions

DUPIN, M. M., HALLIDAY, I., CARE, C. M., ALBOUL, L. and MUNN, L. L. (2007). Modeling the flow of dense suspensions of deformable particles in three dimensions. Physical review E. Statistical, nonlinear and soft matter physics, 75.

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Link to published version:: 10.1103/PhysRevE.75.066707

Abstract

We describe here a rigorous and accurate model for the simulation of three-dimensional deformable particles (DPs). The method is very versatile, easily simulating various types of deformable particles such as vesicles, capsules, and biological cells. Each DP is resolved explicitly and advects within the surrounding Newtonian fluid. The DPs have a preferred rest shape (e.g., spherical for vesicles, or biconcave for red blood cells). The model uses a classic hybrid system: an Eulerian approach is used for the Navier-Stokes solver (the lattice Boltzmann method) and a Lagrangian approach for the evolution of the DP mesh. Coupling is accomplished through the lattice Boltzmann velocity field, which transmits force to the membranes of the DPs. The novelty of this method resides in its ability (by design) to simulate a large number of DPs within the bounds of current computational limitations: our simple and efficient approach is to (i) use the lattice Boltzmann method because of its acknowledged efficiency at low Reynolds number and its ease of parallelization, and (ii) model the DP dynamics using a coarse mesh (approximately 500 nodes) and a spring model constraining (if necessary) local area, total area, cell volume, local curvature, and local primary stresses. We show that this approach is comparable to the more common-yet numerically expensive-approach of membrane potential function, through a series of quantitative comparisons. To demonstrate the capabilities of the model, we simulate the flow of 200 densely packed red blood cells-a computationally challenging task. The model is very efficient, requiring of the order of minutes for a single DP in a 50 mu mx40 mu mx40 mu m simulation domain and only hours for 200 DPs in 80 mu mx30 mu mx30 mu m. Moreover, the model is highly scalable and efficient compared to other models of blood cells in flow, making it an ideal and unique tool for studying blood flow in microvessels or vesicle or capsule flow (or a mixture of different particles). In addition to directly predicting fluid dynamics in complex suspension in any geometry, the model allows determination of accurate, empirical rules which may improve existing macroscopic, continuum models.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Polymers Nanocomposites and Modelling Research Centre > Materials and Fluid Flow Modelling Group
Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Centre for Robotics and Automation > Mobile Machine and Vision Laboratory
Identification Number: 10.1103/PhysRevE.75.066707
Depositing User: Danny Weston
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2010 11:44
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2010 11:55
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1343

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