Congratulations to Owais Khan, whose paper "Non-Newtonian vs. numerical rheology: Practical impact of shear-thinning on the prediction of stable and unstable flows in intracranial aneurysms" was just accepted by Int J Numer Methods Biomed Eng. Abstract below:
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) shows promise for informing treatment planning and rupture risk assessment for intracranial aneurysms. Much attention has been paid to the impact on predicted hemodynamics of various modelling assumptions and uncertainties, including the need for modelling the non-Newtonian, shear-thinning rheology of blood, with equivocal results. Our study clarifies this issue by contextualizing the impact of rheology model against the recently-demonstrated impact of CFD solution strategy on the prediction of aneurysm flow instabilities. Three aneurysm cases were considered, spanning a range of stable to unstable flows. Simulations were performed using a high-resolution/accuracy (HR) solution strategy with Newtonian and modified-Cross rheology models, and compared against results from a so-called ‘normal resolution’ (NR) strategy. Time-averaged and instantaneous wall shear stress (WSS) distributions, as well as frequency content of flow instabilities and dome-averaged WSS metrics, were minimally affected by the rheology model, whereas numerical solution strategy had a demonstrably more marked impact when the rheology model was fixed. We show that point-wise normalization of non- Newtonian by Newtonian WSS values tended to artificially amplify small differences in WSS of questionable physiological relevance in already-low WSS regions, which might help to explain the disparity of opinions in the aneurysm CFD literature regarding the impact of non-Newtonian rheology. Towards the goal of more patient-specific aneurysm CFD, we conclude that attention seems better spent on solution strategy and other likely ‘first-order’ effects (e.g., lumen segmentation, choice of flow rates), as opposed to ‘second-order’ effects such as rheology.