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J Biomech Eng. 1996 May;118(2):158-64.

Particle volumetric residence time calculations in arterial geometries.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada.


The quantification of particle (platelet) residence times in arterial geometries is relevant to the pathogenesis of several arterial diseases. In this manuscript, the concept of "volumetric residence time" (VRT) is introduced. The VRT takes into account where particles accumulate and how long they remain there, and is well-suited to characterizing particle distributions in the complex geometries typical of the cardiovascular system. A technique for the calculation of volumetric residence time is described, which assumes that platelets are neutrally buoyant passive tracer particles, and which tracks small Lagrangian fluid elements containing a uniform concentration of platelets. This approach is used to quantify particle (platelet) residence times in the region of a modeled stenosis with a 45 percent area reduction. Residence time distributions are computed for a representative population of platelets, and for a subpopulation assumed to be "activated" by exposure to shear stresses above a threshold value. For activated platelets, high particle residence times were observed just distal to the apex of the stenosis throat, which can be explained by the presence of high shear stresses and low velocities in the throat immediately adjacent to the vessel wall. Interestingly, the separation zone distal to the stenosis showed only modestly elevated residence times, due to its highly mobile and transient nature. This calculation demonstrates the utility of the VRT concept for cardiovascular studies, particularly if a subpopulation of all particles is to be tracked. We conclude that the volumetric residence time is a useful tool.

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