Getting to the heart of the matter

Anup Kundu, a chemical engineer from West Bengal and a research scholar with the IITB-Monash Research Academy, is fascinated with matters of the heart.

The Academy, as it is commonly referred to, is a pioneering joint-venture research partnership between two leading institutions in India and Australia. It offers research scholars the opportunity to study for a dually-badged PhD from both IIT Bombay in India and Monash University in Australia. Students spend time at both countries over the course of their research, and many of them work on projects that are strongly-interdisciplinary in nature and with an applied research focus.

Anup is working on a project titled, 'Response of an elastic splitter plate attached to a cylinder to laminar pulsatile flow'.

Simply put, he studies the responses of thin, flexible structures subjected to flow perturbations. These have potential applications in biomedical and engineering areas—for instance, deformation of mitral and aortic leaflets in cardiac flows, hemodynamics of aneurysms in coronary arteries or aorta, cerebral aneurysms, and left ventricular flow associated with deformation of mitral leaflets.

Says Anup passionately, "The modeling of fluid-structure interaction (FSI) problems involves complex three-dimensional geometries, moving structure boundaries inside the fluid domain, and large flow-induced deformations of the structure. The flow in many of the above applications is highly unsteady. While modeling of the flow and structure are challenging in their own right, the coupled fluid-structure interaction raises the challenge to a higher level."

"My work could also motivate thermal solutions in engineering. For instance—cooling energy harvesting devices in microsystems and microelectronics using piezoelectric fans, studying thermoregulation in elephants via flapping of their large ears, and thermal transport enhancement in microchannels using oscillating synthetic cilia," he adds. If a flexible thin structure attached behind the cylinder is immersed in a pulsatile flow, it will deform and vibrate more. Deformation and vibration lead to more mixing of the fluid [see figure 1].

Figure 1

In the context of the fluid-structure interaction of non-pulsatile flow with deformable structure, Turek and Hron [1] benchmarked self-sustained oscillation of an elastic plate attached to the lee side of a rigid cylinder 2D laminar channel flow. While the effect of the pulsatile flow on oscillating bodies is well-documented, the flexible and deformable bodies are poorly understood.

Anup extend the FSI benchmark proposed by Turek and Hron [1] to account for pulsatile inlet flow and investigate the coupling of flow frequency with oscillating plate frequency. "My project is a combination of fluid and structure interaction for pulsatile flow," he says.

Prof Murali Sastry, CEO, IITB-Monash Research Academy, is impressed. "The Academy was conceived as a unique model for how two leading, globally focused academic organisations can come together in the spirit of collaboration to deliver solutions and outcomes to grand challenge research questions facing industry and society. Anup and his supervisors, Prof. Bhardwaj and Prof. Thompson, must be complimented for this excellent piece of work."

Anup, clearly, is a man after his heart.

Research scholar: Anup Kundu, IITB-Monash Research Academy

Project title: Response of an elastic splitter plate attached to a cylinder to laminar pulsatile flow

Supervisors: Prof Mark Thompson, Dr. Rajneesh Bhardwaj

Contact details: anupkunduabc@gmail.com

This story was written by Mr Krishna Warrier based on inputs from the research student and IITB-Monash Research Academy. Copyright IITB-Monash Research Academy.

[1] Turek, S. and J. Hron,. Proposal for Numerical Benchmarking of Fluid-Structure Interaction between an Elastic Object and Laminar Incompressible Flow, in Fluid-Structure Interaction, H.-J. Bungartz and M. Schäfer, Editors. 2006, Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 371-385