Computational feasibility of calculating the steady-state blood flow rate through the vasculature of the entire human body

William P. Donahue, Louisiana State University
Wayne D. Newhauser, Louisiana State University
Harris Wong, Louisiana State University
Juana Moreno, Louisiana State University
Joyoni Dey, Louisiana State University
Vincent L. Wilson, Louisiana State University


The human body contains approximately 20 billion individual blood vessels that deliver nutrients and oxygen to tissues.While blood flowis awell-developed field of research, no previous studies have calculated the blood flowrates throughmore than 5million connected vessels. The goal of this studywas to test if it is computationally feasible to calculate the blood flowrates through a vasculature equal in size to that of the human body.We designed and implemented a two-step algorithmto calculate the blood flowrates using principles of steady-state fluid dynamics. Steady-state fluid dynamics is an accurate approximation for themicrovascular and venous structures in the human body. Todetermine the computational feasibility, wemeasured and evaluated the execution time, scalability, andmemory usage to quantify the computational requirements.We demonstrated that it is computationally feasible to calculate the blood flowrate through 17 billion vessels in 6.5 hours using 256 compute nodes. The computationalmodeling of blood flowrate in entire organismsmay find application in research on drug delivery, treatment of cancermetastases, andmodulation of physiological performance.