Time-resolved PIV measurements of the flow field in a stenosed, compliant arterial model

P. H. Geoghegan*, N. A. Buchmann, J. Soria, Mark C. Jermy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Compliant (flexible) structures play an important role in several biological flows including the lungs, heart and arteries. Coronary heart disease is caused by a constriction in the artery due to a build-up of atherosclerotic plaque. This plaque is also of major concern in the carotid artery which supplies blood to the brain. Blood flow within these arteries is strongly influenced by the movement of the wall. To study these problems experimentally in vitro, especially using flow visualisation techniques, can be expensive due to the high-intensity and high-repetition rate light sources required. In this work, time-resolved particle image velocimetry using a relatively low-cost light-emitting diode illumination system was applied to the study of a compliant flow phantom representing a stenosed (constricted) carotid artery experiencing a physiologically realistic flow wave. Dynamic similarity between in vivo and in vitro conditions was ensured in phantom construction by matching the distensibility and the elastic wave propagation wavelength and in the fluid system through matching Reynolds (Re) and Womersley number (α) with a maximum, minimum and mean Re of 939, 379 and 632, respectively, and a α of 4.54. The stenosis had a symmetric constriction of 50 % by diameter (75 % by area). Once the flow rate reached a critical value, Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities were observed to occur in the shear layer between the main jet exiting the stenosis and a reverse flow region that occurred at a radial distance of 0.34D from the axis of symmetry in the region on interest 0-2.5D longitudinally downstream from the stenosis exit. The instability had an axis-symmetric nature, but as peak flow rate was approached this symmetry breaks down producing instability in the flow field. The characteristics of the vortex train were sensitive not only to the instantaneous flow rate, but also to whether the flow was accelerating or decelerating globally.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1528
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2013


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