About Marc Horner

Dr. Marc Horner is currently working as lead healthcare specialist at ANSYS Inc. Marc joined ANSYS after earning his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2001. Marc began by providing support and professional services for biomedical clients, primarily in the areas of cardiovascular devices, drug delivery, packaging, microfluidics and orthopedics. During this time, Marc developed numerous modeling approaches that can be used to establish the efficacy and safety of medical devices. Marc now helps coordinate business and technology development for the health care sector in North America. View Marc Horner's LinkedIn Profile

Closing the Loop on Medical Device Systems Simulation: An Insulin Delivery Systems Example

Great products are composed of great individual components that are increasingly assessed from every possible physical perspective. But as you probably know, optimally designed components do not necessarily result in optimal systems. Eventually, the components are assembled, powered, sensed and controlled as an integrated system, and must therefore be simulated as a system to meet peak performance requirements and stringent safety standards. But building and testing integrated product systems and subsystems can be costly and may not identify optimal configurations and/or potential shortcomings. Systems simulation can help to overcome this challenge. Continue reading


As I am sure you know, ANSYS general-purpose CFD codes are applied across such diverse industries as off-road (construction) vehicles, alternative energy, and oil and gas. This requires us to develop software that meets the modeling needs of the world’s largest user-base of engineering simulation. Which means our code can’t be everything to everyone. That is why we provide users with the ability to incorporate their own industry-specific capabilities. This level of openness that creates the opportunity for our users to implement their own cutting edge physics. This post will talk about how general-purpose CFD tools can be customized to model blood damage in medical devices. Continue reading

AIMing for Better Biomedical Devices

Earlier this year, we introduced ANSYS AIM, the first integrated and comprehensive multiphysics simulation environment designed for all engineers. Check out Richard Clegg’s recent blog post for an overview.


Since then, we’ve been applying AIM to a wide range of industrial applications, including the medical device industry, where AIM provides a modern, easy-to-use tool for a variety of applications. Continue reading

Getting the Right Prosthetic Hip Implant Positioning

I’ve had many conversations with customers who struggle with their reality that it can be very costly and time-consuming for manufacturers to predict the performance of medical devices. They wonder how to address these problems using modelling and simulation to help evaluate devices at an early stage of their development. Given the recent success of the Medical Device Innovation Summit, it was clear to me that there are a lot of exciting developments taking place by using ANSYS for this purpose, whether it involves orthopaedic implants, stents or other devices. Continue reading

How Bioreactors Are Keeping Cells Happy

image of mixing tank velocity surface cell bioreactor

Velocity iso-surface colored by Eddy viscosity

Cell-culture bioreactors lie at the heart of the processes used to produce large-molecule, protein-based therapeutics. In cell culture, mammalian cells are grown outside the human/plant body. These cells produce therapeutic proteins and antibodies. This is much easier said than done. In fact, cells do not cooperate much when they are grown outside the (human or plant) body. The question then is: Why is it so difficult for cells in culture to have the same physiological function in laboratory as in our body? Continue reading

Frontiers in Medical Devices

On September 11th to 13th, I will be traveling to Washington, DC to present at the Frontiers in Medical Devices conference which ANSYS is helping to sponsor. The FDA and ASME are co-sponsoring this event that is focused on the application of computer modeling and simulation in the biomedical industry.

Frontiers in Medical Devices conference

This conference is designed to present new research, foster discussion of the barriers to implementation of computer modeling and to promote the use of modeling for medical device applications. Conference tracks range from patient-specific to population modeling, and from novel computational methods to computational models as medical devices. Continue reading

The Shortest Distance Between Two Points – Medical Devices

My five year old came home from school the other day talking about how the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. That got me thinking about how a straight line might be the most direct route, but it’s not always the best one. For example, pilots fly around large thunderstorms because it is safer for the passengers…and the crew!  So safety becomes the over-arching factor when determining the flight plan, even if the diversion uses a little more gas.

Medical devices are in a similar position of requiring a consideration of human lives.  Therefore, linear thinking is probably not good enough when developing a new device. We must transition to the non-linear realm if we are to bring the safest devices to market.

Non-linear analysis will allow us to make great leaps forward in our understanding of device performance. But this will require us to cope with modeling complexities that may or may not have been dealt with in the past.  Let me mention three typical sources of non-linear complexities: Continue reading