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J Biomech. 1999 Jun;32(6):601-8.

The influence of the non-Newtonian properties of blood on the flow in large arteries: steady flow in a carotid bifurcation model.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands.


Laser Doppler anemometry experiments and finite element simulations of steady flow in a three dimensional model of the carotid bifurcation were performed to investigate the influence of non-Newtonian properties of blood on the velocity distribution. The axial velocity distribution was measured for two fluids: a non-Newtonian blood analog fluid and a Newtonian reference fluid. Striking differences between the measured flow fields were found. The axial velocity field of the non-Newtonian fluid was flattened, had lower velocity gradients at the divider wall, and higher velocity gradients at the non-divider wall. The flow separation, as found with the Newtonian fluid, was absent. In the computations, the shear thinning behavior of the analog blood fluid was incorporated through the Carreau-Yasuda model. The viscoelastic properties of the fluid were not included. A comparison between the experimental and numerical results showed good agreement, both for the Newtonian and the non-Newtonian fluid. Since only shear thinning was included, this seems to be the dominant non-Newtonian property of the blood analog fluid under steady flow conditions.

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