Pulse wave propagation in a model human arterial network: Assessment of 1-D visco-elastic simulations against in vitro measurements

J Biomech. 2011 Aug 11;44(12):2250-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2011.05.041. Epub 2011 Jul 2.


The accuracy of the nonlinear one-dimensional (1-D) equations of pressure and flow wave propagation in Voigt-type visco-elastic arteries was tested against measurements in a well-defined experimental 1:1 replica of the 37 largest conduit arteries in the human systemic circulation. The parameters required by the numerical algorithm were directly measured in the in vitro setup and no data fitting was involved. The inclusion of wall visco-elasticity in the numerical model reduced the underdamped high-frequency oscillations obtained using a purely elastic tube law, especially in peripheral vessels, which was previously reported in this paper [Matthys et al., 2007. Pulse wave propagation in a model human arterial network: Assessment of 1-D numerical simulations against in vitro measurements. J. Biomech. 40, 3476-3486]. In comparison to the purely elastic model, visco-elasticity significantly reduced the average relative root-mean-square errors between numerical and experimental waveforms over the 70 locations measured in the in vitro model: from 3.0% to 2.5% (p<0.012) for pressure and from 15.7% to 10.8% (p<0.002) for the flow rate. In the frequency domain, average relative errors between numerical and experimental amplitudes from the 5th to the 20th harmonic decreased from 0.7% to 0.5% (p<0.107) for pressure and from 7.0% to 3.3% (p<10(-6)) for the flow rate. These results provide additional support for the use of 1-D reduced modelling to accurately simulate clinically relevant problems at a reasonable computational cost.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Arteries / physiology*
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Computer Simulation
  • Elasticity
  • Humans
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Oscillometry / methods
  • Polyurethanes / chemistry
  • Pressure
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Silicones / chemistry
  • Time Factors
  • Viscosity


  • Polyurethanes
  • Silicones