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Article

Non-Newtonian perspectives on pulsatile blood-analog flows in a 180° curved artery model

Authors: van Wyk, S.v.W., Prahl Wittberg, L., Bulusu, K.V., Fuchs, L.F., Plesniak, M.W.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Physics of Fluids
Volume: 27  
Year: 2015

Abstract

Complex, unsteady fluid flow phenomena in the arteries arise due to the pulsations of the heart that intermittently pumps the blood to the extremities of the body. The many different flow waveform variations observed throughout the arterial network are a result of this process and a function of the vessel properties. Large scale secondary flow structures are generated throughout the aortic arch and larger branches of the arteries. An experimental 180? curved artery test section with physiological inflow conditions was used to validate the computational methods implemented in this study. Good agreement of the secondary flow structures is obtained between experimental and numerical studies of a Newtonian blood-analog fluid under steady-state and pulsatile, carotid artery flow rate waveforms. Multiple vortical structures, some of opposite rotational sense to Dean vortices, similar to Lyne-type vortices, were observed to form during the systolic portion of the pulse. Computational tools were used to assess the effect of blood-analog fluid rheology (i.e., Newtonian versus non-Newtonian). It is demonstrated that non-Newtonian, blood-analog fluid rheology results in shear layer instabilities that alter the formation of vortical structures during the systolic deceleration and onwards during diastole. Additional vortices not observed in the Newtonian cases appear at the inside and outside of the bend at various times during the pulsation. The influence of blood-analog shear-thinning viscosity decreases mean pressure losses in contrast to the Newtonian blood analog fluid.