oa Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Numerical simulation of pulsating flow in the aortic arch



In order to investigate the flow profiles in the aorta a numerical three-dimensional model of the aortic arch was created. The velocity fields were simulated by applying an inlet velocity corresponding to the physiological velocity of the pressure wave at the aortic valve. The velocity field distribution was found to be uniform throughout the model during the time of increasing inlet velocities. With decreasing inlet velocities a region of low flow developed in the descending portion of the model leading to recirculating flow at the inner wall. At this region of low flow the variation in velocity with time at the inner wall was approximately twice the variation at the outer wall. As a result of the recirculating flow, the wall shear stresses at the inner wall are low and oscillating predisposing to the development of atherosclerosis. This model shows that transient fluid flow in the aortic arch can be simulated. Biological studies are needed to prove that this model can be used to predict sites of pathology.


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