Blood Flow Simulation through a Rat's Aortic Arch



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Rat models are used to examine the blood flow in a setting similar to that of humans. For this research, we are interested in creating a working model which we can use to further investigate aortic malfunction for the purpose of improving blood flow in patients with blood vessel disorder. Initially, we designed the working model of a rat aortic arch with adequate geometry using Solidworks. We defined the proper boundary conditions to perform blood flow simulations on the aortic arch. For inlet boundary, we took velocity information of a lab rat, obtained using Doppler velocimetry. This data was then imported into Matlab to generate a function expression using a curve fitting tool. For the outlet, because the pressure boundary conditions are a priori unknown, we simulated the model with different gage pressure within realistic bounds to test their effect. We applied zero gage pressure at the bottom outlets, and zero, 5 mm Hg and 20 mm Hg gage pressure at top outlets to test our model using three cases. The model was imported into Comsol Multiphysics to perform the various transient simulations. We found that the flow is relatively robust to the unknown outlet pressure. We were also able to measure the pressure stress on the aorta, which is crucial for future study on aortic rigidity.