Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Figliola, Richard S.

Committee Member

Beasley , Donald E.

Committee Member

Huang , Yong


The Fontan circulation is the result of a series of operations performed to save the lives of children born with univentricular circulations. The Fontan procedure achieves venous return to the pulmonary circulation without a ventricular power source. The load on the heart is reduced to normal, and these patients can lead a normal life into adulthood, although late complications continue to prevent normal lifespan. A unique feature of the Fontan circulation is the dependency of inferior vena cava flow on respiration. The Fontan circulation has been modeled experimentally using an adjustable mock circulatory system, which for the first time includes the influence of respiration. A multi-scale model based on a realistic, 3D patient-specific test section coupled with a lumped parameter model tuned to patient-specific parameters is used to simulate the pressure and flow found in the Fontan circulation. For the first time, the clinically observed respiratory effects in TCPC venous physiology were successfully simulated in an experimental model, where venous flow increased during inspiration and decreased during expiration. Clinically observed hepatic vein flow reversal was also seen in the model. This reverse flow was accentuated when the pulmonary vascular resistance was increased on the venous side.



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