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iSGTW Image of the week - Real-time blood flow through the brain

Image of the week - Real-time blood flow through the brain

GENIUS allows images of the blood flow around a patient's brain to be visualized in real-time
Image courtesy of Centre for Computational Science, UCL

Picture a clinician, standing at a terminal, watching a computer simulation of blood flowing through their patient's brain, moving the model brain around to get a better look at the vessels they are about to operate on.

Sound too futuristic? Not ifyou're working on the GENIUS-or Grid Enabled Neurosurgical Imaging Using Simulation-project.

"With GENIUS we're aiming to make patient-specific treatment a reality for neurosurgeons, by developing an efficient system which fits in with current clinical practice," explains collaborator Steven Manos.

This system will allow conditions such as arterio venous malformations-abnormal tangles of blood vessels that can cause headaches, seizures, paralysis and haemorrhaging-to be better understood and treated, since studying patient blood flow around the brain can greatly increase the chances of surgical success.


MRI scans provide the data to reconstruct the neurovascular structure of real patients. A lattice-Boltzmann fluid flow solver is then used to simulate the flow of blood around the reconstructed vessels.

The GENIUS project makes use of MPI-g, a grid-enabled implementation of MPI. Scheduling is achieved across the UK National Grid Service and TeraGrid and the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative in the U.S. using the HARC (Highly Available Robust Co-scheduler) system.

"The NGS has been actively supporting the GENIUS project, deploying HARC for advance reservation and co-reservation of resources and rolling out MPI-g across the network," Manos says.

GENIUS has developed from the ongoing RealityGrid project and is a joint US/UK high-end computing project, co-funded by the EPSRC and NSF.

- Katie Weeks, National Grid Service.

For more case studies from the NGS subscribe to the NGS fortnightly email, where new editions of NGS News will be announced along with training events and other news. The most recent issue of NGS News contains a special feature on molecular dynamic applications installed on the NGS, a user case study on the use of the NGS for the Sloan Digital Sky project, introductions to NGS staff and sites as well as many other articles of general interest to anyone involved in grid computing.

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