Research Papers

Experimental Investigation of the Flow of Bile in Patient Specific Cystic Duct Models

[+] Author and Article Information
Mushtak Al-Atabi

School of Engineering, Taylor’s University College, Selangor, 47500, Malaysia

S. B. Chin

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK

X. Y. Luo

Department of Mathematics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QW, UK

J Biomech Eng 132(4), 041003 (Mar 10, 2010) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001043 History: Received October 31, 2009; Revised January 11, 2010; Posted January 19, 2010; Published March 10, 2010; Online March 10, 2010

Three-dimensional scaled-up transparent models of three human cystic ducts were prepared on the basis of anatomical specimens. The measurement of pressure drop across the cystic duct models and visualization of the flow structures within these ducts were performed at conditions replicating the physiological state. The flow visualization study confirmed the laminar nature of the flow of bile inside the cystic duct and values of pressure drop coefficient (Cp) decreased as the Reynolds number (Re) increased. The three tested models showed comparable behavior for the curve of Reynolds number versus the pressure drop coefficient. The results show that the tested cystic ducts have both increased pressure drop and complicated flow structures when compared with straight conduits. High resistance in a cystic duct may indicate that the gallbladder has to exert large force in expelling bile to the cystic duct. For patients with diseased gallbladder, and even in healthy persons, gallbladder is known to stiffen with age and it may lose its compliance or flexibility. A high resistance cystic duct coupled with a stiffened gallbladder may result in prolonged stasis of bile in the gallbladder, which is assumed to encourage the formation of gallstones.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Gross anatomy of the human biliary system

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Figure 2

An opened gallbladder after surgical removal reveals gallstones of varying sizes (Encyclopedia of Medicine, gallstones, unit 82, sheet 57)

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Figure 3

Schematic view of the experimental rig

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Figure 4

Identification of different anatomical regions in cast models (2)

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Figure 5

Schematic diagram of cystic duct models production using CAD/CAM techniques

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Figure 6

Comparison between the poiseuille and the experimental pressure coefficients for straight horizontal circular tube

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Figure 7

Flow visualization in 3D realistic cystic duct model: patient 038 Re=60; flow from left to right gallbladder emptying

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Figure 8

Flow visualization in 3D realistic cystic duct model: patient 034 Re=60; flow from left to right, gallbladder emptying

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Figure 9

Flow visualization in 3D realistic cystic duct model: patient 010 Re=60; flow from left to right, gallbladder emptying

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Figure 10

Pressure coefficient versus Reynolds numbers for realistic cystic duct models and a circular conduit




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