Pressure Propagation in Pulsatile Flow Through Random Microvascular Networks

[+] Author and Article Information
X. S. He

NSF/ERC Duke Center for Emerging Cardiovascular Technologies, Duke University, Durham, NC 27706

J. G. Georgiadis

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University, Durham, NC 27706

J Biomech Eng 115(2), 180-186 (May 01, 1993) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2894119 History: Received December 16, 1991; Revised July 23, 1992; Online March 17, 2008


A microvascular network with random dimensions of vessels is built on the basis of statistical analysis of conjuctival beds reported in the literature. Our objective is to develop a direct method of evaluating the statistics of the pulsatile hydrodynamic field starting from a priori statistics which mimic the large-scale heterogeneity of the network. The model consists of a symmetric diverging-converging dentritic network of ten levels of vessels, each level described by a truncated Gaussian distribution of vessel diameters and lengths. In each vascular segment, the pressure distribution is given by a diffusion equation with random parameters, while the blood flow rate depends linearly on the pressure gradient. The results are presented in terms of the mean value and standard deviation of the pressure and flow rate waveforms at two positions along the network. It is shown that the assumed statistical variation of vessel lengths results in flow rate deviations as high as 50 percent of the mean, while the corresponding effect of vessel diameter variation is much smaller. For a given pressure drop, the statistical variation of lengths increases the mean flow while the effect on the mean pressure distribution is negligible.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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