Numerical Analysis of Pulsatile blood flow Simulation in the Carotid Artery Bifurcation
Mentor:Jaehoon Seong, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Physiological blood flow in the human carotid artery bifurcation was simulated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software to understand local hemodynamics in the bifurcation. The carotid bifurcation is one of the most common sites of atherosclerotic plaque. The carotid bifurcation anatomy and associated local hemodynamics could be major risk factors for plaque formation. The carotid artery bifurcation consists of three branches; common carotid artery (CCA), internal carotid artery (ICA) and external carotid artery (ECA). A 3-dimensional model of adult human carotid bifurcation was created in 3-dimensional design software. Volumetric blood flow and pressure waveforms were adapted from a publication as input parameters for the computational simulation. The property values of blood density and viscosity were 1060 kg/m3 and 3.2x10-3 Pa∙s. Computational simulation was performed based on Navier-Stokes equation for fully developed laminar flow. Our simulation was a preliminary study based on an average adult carotid model with a specific blood flow condition. The average volume flow rate in the CCA was calculated 6.176 ml/s. The volumetric flow separation between ICA and ECA was measured a ratio of 64/36. Pulsatility Index (PI) in various locations was also calculated. The values of PI showed that the highest value of 1.462 was found at CCA, and the lowest value of 1.394 was calculated at mid-sinus area in ICA. At the ICA carotid sinus, double helical pattern of vortex flow was showed with relatively reduced velocities at the outer wall of the bifurcation. The complex hemodynamic phenomena might be one of the causes of atherosclerosis at the carotid sinus.