Natural evolution presumably optimizes biological systems, however, the optimality criteria are not explicit and thus unknown to the human observer. Specifically, the vascular system may obey design principles such as volume minimization or power loss minimization, but these assumptions must be verified by examining the technical optima and comparing them to real biological systems. In this thesis we are concerned with the computational aspects of simulation and optimization of vascular bifurcations, which are the basic design elements of the vascular system. We simulate two-dimensional flow in vascular bifurcations by numerically solving stationary Navier-Stokes equations using the method of finite differences. Searching the space of bifurcation angles we determine the bifurcation geometry exhibiting minimal power loss of flow. We compare the results to those found in literature, which are based on simpler flow models.

*Master Student*

- Gerhard Gaube (see Project Page)

*Cooperation*

- The thesis is done in cooperation with the Department of Organismic Biology at our university. We would like to thank Prof. Lametschwandtner for supervising the biological parts of the thesis (and asking the important questions..;-).

*Financial Support*

- None

*Project Duration*

- Feb '05 - Apr '06