A method for matching the refractive index and kinematic viscosity of a blood analog for flow visualization in hydraulic cardiovascular models

J Biomech Eng. 2004 Aug;126(4):529-35. doi: 10.1115/1.1785812.


In this work, we propose a simple method to simultaneously match the refractive index and kinematic viscosity of a circulating blood analog in hydraulic models for optical flow measurement techniques (PIV, PMFV, LDA, and LIF). The method is based on the determination of the volumetric proportions and temperature at which two transparent miscible liquids should be mixed to reproduce the targeted fluid characteristics. The temperature dependence models are a linear relation for the refractive index and an Arrhenius relation for the dynamic viscosity of each liquid. Then the dynamic viscosity of the mixture is represented with a Grunberg-Nissan model of type 1. Experimental tests for acrylic and blood viscosity were found to be in very good agreement with the targeted values (measured refractive index of 1.486 and kinematic viscosity of 3.454 milli-m2/s with targeted values of 1.47 and 3.300 milli-m2/s).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology*
  • Blood Physiological Phenomena*
  • Blood Substitutes / chemistry*
  • Blood Viscosity / physiology
  • Cardiovascular System / physiopathology
  • Computer Simulation
  • Hemorheology / methods*
  • Materials Testing
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Refractometry / methods
  • Temperature


  • Blood Substitutes