The aim of this work is to develop a unique in vitro set-up in order to analyse the influence of the shear thinning fluid-properties on the flow dynamics within the bulge of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). From an experimental point of view, the goals are to elaborate an analogue shear thinning fluid mimicking the macroscopic blood behaviour, to characterise its rheology at low shear rates and to propose an experimental device able to manage such an analogue fluid without altering its feature while reproducing physiological flow rate and pressure, through compliant AAA. Once these experimental prerequisites achieved, the results obtained in the present work show that the flow dynamics is highly dependent on the fluid rheology. The main results point out that the propagation of the vortex ring, generated in the AAA bulge, is slower for shear thinning fluids inducing a smaller travelled distance by the vortex ring so that it never impacts the anterior wall in the distal region, in opposition to Newtonian fluids. Moreover, scalar shear rate values are globally lower for shear thinning fluids inducing higher maximum stress values than those for the Newtonian fluids. Consequently, this work highlights that a Newtonian fluid model is finally inadequate to obtain a reliable prediction of the flow dynamics within AAA.
Keywords: Compliant abdominal aortic aneurysm; Experimental modelling; In vitro dynamic set-up; Physiological flow; Shear thinning fluid.
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