Effect of flow split on separation and stagnation in a model vascular bifurcation.
This is a study of the flow disturbance in a plastic model of an asymmetric vascular bifurcation. A sidearm was attached to the mainlimb at an angle of 15 degrees to the inlet flow axis. Water at steady flow was used and flow patterns were demonstrated by a dye injection technique. The proportion of inlet flow (Qi) exiting from the sidearm (Qs) was varied and flow patterns were recorded photographically. A laser Doppler anemometer (LDA) was used to measure near-wall velocity. At a physiologic Reynolds' number of 500, no flow disturbance occurred in the mainlimb when the sidearm was completely occluded. When the fraction of flow exiting from the sidearm (Qs/Qi) reached 0.19, a region of boundary layer separation developed along the wall of the mainlimb opposite the flow divider. This region of nearly static fluid spread circumferentially around the mainlimb as Qs/Qi increased. Near-wall velocity within the separation decreased and became negative when Qs/Qi = 0.31. When Qs/Qi reached 0.38, the separation enveloped the wall of the entire bifurcation with a shell of slowly moving fluid. At the same time, the rapidly moving mainstream impinged directly on the flow divider. There is a similarity between the region of separation seen in this model and the site of formation of atherosclerotic plaque at the carotid bifurcation. Separation may contribute to atherogenesis by creating a region of low wall shear at bifurcations.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association