Influence of Non-Newtonian Behavior of Blood on Flow in an Elastic Artery Model

[+] Author and Article Information
A. Dutta, J. M. Tarbell

Physiological Transport Studies Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

J Biomech Eng 118(1), 111-119 (Feb 01, 1996) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2795936 History: Received August 10, 1993; Revised December 16, 1994; Online October 30, 2007


Two different non-Newtonian models for blood, one a simple power law model exhibiting shear thinning viscosity, and another a generalized Maxwell model displaying both shear thining viscosity and oscillatory flow viscoelasticity, were used along with a Newtonian model to simulate sinusoidal flow of blood in rigid and elastic straight arteries. When the spring elements were removed from the viscoelastic model resulting in a purely viscous shear thinning fluid, the predictions of flow rate and WSS were virtually unaltered. Hence, elasticity of blood does not appear to influence its flow behavior under physiological conditions in large arteries, and a purely viscous shear thinning model should be quite realistic for simulating blood flow under these conditions. When a power law model with a high shear rate Newtonian cutoff was used for sinusoidal flow simulation in elastic arteries, the mean and amplitude of the flow rate were found to be lower for a power law fluid compared to a Newtonian fluid experiencing the same pressure gradient. The wall shear stress was found to be relatively insensitive to fluid rheology but strongly dependent on vessel wall motion for flows driven by the same pressure gradient. The effect of wall motion on wall shear stress could be greatly reduced by matching flow rate rather than pressure gradient. For physiological flow simulation in the aorta, an increase in mean WSS but a reduction in peak WSS were observed for the power law model compared to a Newtonian fluid model for a matched flow rate waveform.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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