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

J Biomech. 1999 Jun;32(6):601-8. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9290(99)00015-9.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Carotid Arteries / physiology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Hemorheology*
  • Humans
  • Laser-Doppler Flowmetry
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Stress, Mechanical