In-Vitro Pulsatile Flow Visualization Studies in a Pulmonary Artery Model

[+] Author and Article Information
E. Philpot, A. P. Yoganathan, H.-W. Sung, Y.-R. Woo

Bio Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, School of Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA. 30332

R. H. Franch

Department of Cardiology, Emory University Medical School, Atlanta, Ga. 30322

D. J. Sahn, L. Valdez-Cruz

Pediatric Cardiology, University of California San Diego Medical School, San Diego, Calif. 92103

J Biomech Eng 107(4), 368-375 (Nov 01, 1985) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138571 History: Received April 29, 1985; Revised August 12, 1985; Online June 15, 2009


In-vitro pulsatile flow visualization studies were conducted in an adult-sized pulmonary artery model to observe the effects of valvular pulmonic stenosis on the flow fields of the main, left and right pulmonary arteries. The flow patterns revealed that as the degree of stenosis increased, the jet-type flow created by the valve became narrower, and it impinged on the far (distal) wall of the left pulmonary artery further downstream from the junction of the bifurcation. This in turn led to larger regions of disturbed turbulent flow, as well as helical-type secondary flow motions in the left pulmonary artery, compared to the right pulmonary artery. The flow field in the main pulmonary artery also became more disturbed and turbulent, especially during peak systole and the deceleration phase. The flow visualization observations have been valuable in helping to conduct further quantitative studies such as pressure and velocity field mapping. Such studies are important to understanding the fluid mechanics characteristics of the main pulmonary artery and its two major branches.

Copyright © 1985 by ASME
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