Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 371315, 9 pages
Research Article

Weighted Least-Squares Finite Element Method for Cardiac Blood Flow Simulation with Echocardiographic Data

1Chemical and Biological Engineering Department, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA
2Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ 85259, USA

Received 1 August 2011; Revised 5 October 2011; Accepted 9 October 2011

Academic Editor: Eun Bo Shim

Copyright © 2012 Fei Wei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


As both fluid flow measurement techniques and computer simulation methods continue to improve, there is a growing need for numerical simulation approaches that can assimilate experimental data into the simulation in a flexible and mathematically consistent manner. The problem of interest here is the simulation of blood flow in the left ventricle with the assimilation of experimental data provided by ultrasound imaging of microbubbles in the blood. The weighted least-squares finite element method is used because it allows data to be assimilated in a very flexible manner so that accurate measurements are more closely matched with the numerical solution than less accurate data. This approach is applied to two different test problems: a flexible flap that is displaced by a jet of fluid and blood flow in the porcine left ventricle. By adjusting how closely the simulation matches the experimental data, one can observe potential inaccuracies in the model because the simulation without experimental data differs significantly from the simulation with the data. Additionally, the assimilation of experimental data can help the simulation capture certain small effects that are present in the experiment, but not modeled directly in the simulation.