1,100 Words

A Blood Cell's Journey

Biomedical Engineer Amanda Randles is building models to simulate how individual blood cells travel throughout the human body. But running these simulations is no small feat; even powerful supercomputers struggle to calculate fluid flows that include pulsing heartbeats, webs of blood vessels, and trillions of cells. To speed up the simulations, Randles’ algorithms divide each vessel into smaller regions, and calculate the blood flow in each region separately. In this image of an aorta, each box was computed by a different computer processor, and the color of the box indicates how active that processor was while running the calculation. (Image Credit: Liam Krauss, Lawrence Livermore National Lab)