Amanda Kathleen Wake
Ph.D. Candidate
Biomedical Engineering


Fluid and solid mechanics in carotid bifurcations

The carotid artery bifurcation is one location where atherosclerotic plaques characteristically occur in the human arterial system. The geometry of the vessel (e.g., bifurcation angle, carotid sinus size, wall thickness) affects the fluid and solid mechanics of the system. Hence, the variation of geometry between human subjects is important when attempting to relate biomechanics (blood and vessel) and atherosclerosis. The purpose of my research is to model the fluid and solid mechanics behavior of the carotid artery bifurcation of individual humans.

Accurate lumen boundaries are determined from magnetic resonance (MR) scans and subsequent segmentation of MR images. The computational volume is constructed and the fluid dynamic behavior is modeled using the commercially available finite element code, FIDAP (Fluent, Inc., Lebanon, NH). Fluid flow phenomena (i.e., recirculation regions, wall shear stress, and velocity profiles) are analyzed to understand the flow regime of the scanned geometry.

Previously constructed Sylgard model

Slice from MR scan of Sylgard model, which forms the computational model basis

Velocity contours from CFD results (darkest contour separating region of negative axial flow)