Learning circulation & hemodynamics using an interactive simulation package through a graphic user interface

Qi Dunsworth, Ben Murphy, Yi Elisa Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Circulation system & hemodynamics is one of the advanced topics in an undergraduate mechanical engineering course on bioengineering applications. It studies the dynamics of blood flow which is directly related to fluid mechanics. The interdisciplinary nature of the subject poses multiple challenges in teaching and learning. Often times, students are unfamiliar with the medical context of the human circulatory system and the pathological/activity states. They have little or no experience working with the pulsatile flow (heartbeat), soft pipes (blood vessels), and one-way valves (heart valves). To address these challenges, an interactive simulation model supplemented with scenario-based problems has been developed to teach the circulation system & hemodynamics and cardiac assist devices. Simulation has been shown to be an effective method for students to acquire knowledge and conceptual understanding of sophisticated systems. In this study, the model allows students to simulate a range of physiological conditions, study hemodynamic variables, and understand the conditions for using cardiac assist device interventions as well as its benefits. The effectiveness of the simulation was assessed by asking students to solve a scenario-based problem and answering survey questions. The data from problem solutions indicate that after one 75-minute class, students are able to understand the mechanism of the human circulation system and the value of using cardiac assist devices. Student feedback to the survey rate the simulation model very positive in helping them understand human circulation and the proper use of a cardiac assist device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number942
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Event2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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