Characteristics of pulsatile flows in curved stenosed channels

Spatial and temporal variations of the hemodynamic features occur under pulsatile conditions in complex vessel geometry. Wall shear stress affected by the disturbed flow can result in endothelial cell dysfunction, which leads to atherogenesis and thrombosis. Therefore, detailed understanding of the hemodynamic characteristics in a curved stenosed channel is highly important when examining the pathological effects of hemodynamic phenomena on the progression of atherosclerosis. The present study measures the velocity fields of pulsatile flows with three different Reynolds numbers in 3D curved vessel models with stenosis using time-resolved particle image velocimetry (PIV). Three different models were cast in PDMS polymer using models made by a 3D printer with different bend angles of 0°, 10°, and 20° between the longitudinal axes at the upstream and downstream of the stenosis. To investigate the 3D flow structures, a stack of 2D velocity fields was obtained by adjusting the position of the laser sheet along the Z-direction. The structures of flow fields in the stenosed models were analyzed using the distribution of the shearing strain as well as the skewness and full width at half maximum of the velocity profile. To support experiment results, distributions of pressure and 3D vortex in the curved stenosed channels were estimated by conducting the numerical simulation. These results indicate that the curvature of the tube considerably influences the skewness of the flow, and the shear stress is intensified near the outer curvature wall due to centrifugal force. The results would be helpful in understanding the effects of geometrical factors on plaque rupture and severe cardiovascular diseases.