The goal of Leas PhD project is to develop a tool for planning interventions and operations on children with congenital heart disease. Due to the complexity of the anomalies found in these kinds of heart disease, it can be difficult to predict the surgical outcome. Thus, a simulation model aims to help plan and predict what surgical correction is most beneficial for each patient. Based on 3D ultrasound imaging, the heart valve of the patient is digitized and inserted into the simulation model. Using Fluid-Structure interaction (FSI) the blood flow in the patient and the material behavior of the heart valve leaflets is simulated thus gaining further insight in the heart valve dynamics.
In the first part of her studies, Lea aims to quantify the error margin of her simulations using a simplified heart geometry to confirm that her model is suitable for a clinical environment. By comparing simulation results to experimental results obtained from a 3D-printed version of the computer model, using MR-scanning and ultrasound imaging, the error margin will be determined.