lifex-cfd: an open-source computational fluid dynamics solver for cardiovascular applications
Saturday 29th April 2023
Africa, P. C.; Fumagalli, I.; Bucelli, M.; Zingaro, A.; Fedele, M.; Dede', L.; Quarteroni, A.
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is an important tool for the simulation of the cardiovascular function and dysfunction. Due to the complexity of the anatomy, the transitional regime of blood flow in the heart, and the strong mutual influence between the flow and the physical processes involved in the heart function, the development of accurate and efficient CFD solvers for cardiovascular flows is still a challenging task. In this paper we present lifex-cfd: an open-source CFD solver for cardiovascular simulations based on the lifex finite element library, written in modern C++ and exploiting distributed memory parallelism. We model blood flow in both physiological and pathological conditions via the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations, accounting for moving cardiac valves, moving domains, and transition-to-turbulence regimes. In this paper, we provide an overview of the underlying mathematical formulation, numerical discretization, implementation details and instructions for use of lifex-cfd. The code has been verified through rigorous convergence analyses, and we show its almost ideal parallel speedup. We demonstrate the accuracy and reliability of the numerical methods implemented through a series of idealized and patient-specific vascular and cardiac simulations, in different physiological flow regimes. The lifex-cfd source code is available under the LGPLv3 license, to ensure its accessibility and transparency to the scientific community, and to facilitate collaboration and further developments.