An Introduction to Biomedical Computational Fluid Dynamics

Luke Reid (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a tool that has been used by engineers for over 50 years to analyse heat transfer and fluid flow phenomena. In recent years, there have been rapid developments in biomedical and health research applications of CFD. It has been used to evaluate drug delivery systems, analyse physiological flows (e.g. laryngeal jet flow), facilitate surgical planning (e.g. management of intracranial aneurysms), and develop medical devices (e.g. vascular stents and valve prostheses). Due to the complexity of these fluid flows, it demands an interdisciplinary approach consisting of engineers, computer scientists, and mathematicians to develop the computer programs and software used to solve the mathematical equations. Advances in technology and decreases in computational cost are allowing CFD to be more widely accessible and therefore used in more varied contexts. Cardiovascular medicine is the most common area of biomedical research in which CFD is currently being used, followed closely by upper and lower respiratory tract medicine. CFD is also being used in research investigating cerebrospinal fluid, synovial joints, and intracellular fluid. Although CFD can provide meaningful and aesthetically pleasing outputs, interpretation of the data can be challenging for those without a strong understanding of mathematical and engineering principles. Future development and evolution of computational medicine will therefore require close collaboration between experts in engineering, computer science, and biomedical research. This chapter aims to introduce computational fluid dynamics and present the reader with the basics of biological fluid properties, the CFD method, and its applications within biomedical research through published examples, in hope of bridging knowledge gaps in this rapidly emerging method of biomedical analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomedical Visualisation
EditorsPaul M. Rea
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030769512
ISBN (Print)9783030769505 (hbk), 9783030769512 (pbk)
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Intracranial Aneurysm
  • Software
  • Stents
  • Computational medicine
  • Respiratory aerodynamics
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Haemodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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