Laminar flow

Laminar flow in a curved tube with an implanted stent model

Flow in curved tubes, both steady and unsteady, has long captivated fluid mechanicians due to the rich flow physics and practical applications. This research program is at the interface of traditional fluid mechanics and the blossoming field of biofluid mechanics. The human vasculature is tortuous, consisting of virtually no straight sections of any considerable length. Thus, examining curved tubes as an arterial model offers a welcome physiological relevance.

In this study we examine the role of stent struts, that is, implanted mechanical devices for reopening an occluded vessel, on the axial and secondary fluid flow development. This problem is tackled from an analytical perspective, modeling the stent as a small perturbation to a nominally circular cross-sectional geometry, as well as experimentally and numerically when the flow parameters and geometry are such that the analytical problem is intractable.

This fundamental flow study has implications beyond the vasculature, such as heat transfer and mixing.