Effect of anatomical fine structure on the dispersion of solutes in the spinal subarachnoid space

J Biomech Eng. 2007 Oct;129(5):666-75. doi: 10.1115/1.2768112.


The dispersion of a solute bolus is calculated for cerebrospinal fluid undergoing oscillatory flow in the subarachnoid space of the spine. The fine structure of the subarachnoid space (nerves and trabeculae) enhances both longitudinal and transverse dispersions five to ten times over a simple model with an open annular space. Overall, dispersion is >10(3) times simple molecular diffusion. The result of enhanced dispersion is rapid spread and dilution of the bolus, effectively stirred by fluid movement around the fine structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / metabolism*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Rheology / methods
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism*
  • Spinal Cord / ultrastructure*
  • Subarachnoid Space / metabolism*
  • Subarachnoid Space / ultrastructure*
  • Viscosity