Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Engineering Science

Major Professor

M. R. Mahfouz, A. J. Baker

Committee Members

W. B. Hamel


Three dimensional pulsatile blood flow CFD simulations in geometrically genuine normal and non-normal (aneurysm) human neck-head vascular systems nominally spanning the aortic arch to the circle of Willis has been performed and studied. CT scans of the human aortic arch and the carotid arteries were interpreted to obtain geometric data defining the boundary for a vascular CFD simulation. This was accomplished by reconstructing the surface from the anatomical slices and by imposing pertinent boundary conditions at the various artery termini. Following automated formation of a non-conformal CFD mesh, steady and unsteady laminar and low turbulent simulations were performed both for the normal and aneurysm models. Atherosclerosis and atherosclerotic induced aneurysms can occur in the ascending aorta.

The results showed marked differences in the flow dynamics for the two models. Secondary flow is induced in both of the models due to the curvature of the aortic arch which is distorted in three dimensions. Counter clockwise rotating vortex formation was seen at the aneurysm segment in the ascending aorta for the aneurysm model which was absent for the normal case. The effect of the aneurysm bulge was seen in regions proximal to it at peak reverse flow causing secondary flow. These secondary aortic blood flows are though to have an effect on the wall shear stress distribution. Maximum pressure regions for the aneurysm were observed at regions distal to it indicating the possible location for rupture. Wall shear force (WSF) values for the normal case at the aortic bend were low indicating the possible reason for the formation of the aneurysm in the first place. The WSF values at the aneurysm segment for the aneurysm case were also low supporting the low shear stress induced atherosclerotic aneurysms theory. These results may act as a precursor for a multiscale Large eddy simulation model (LES) for pulsatile blood flow eliminating the need for a priori definition of the flow as laminar or turbulent.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."