, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 1178-1187
Date: 14 Jan 2010

Flow Interactions with Cells and Tissues: Cardiovascular Flows and Fluid–Structure Interactions

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Abstract

Interactions between flow and biological cells and tissues are intrinsic to the circulatory, respiratory, digestive and genitourinary systems. In the circulatory system, an understanding of the complex interaction between the arterial wall (a living multi-component organ with anisotropic, non-linear material properties) and blood (a shear-thinning fluid with 45% by volume consisting of red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells) is vital to our understanding of the physiology of the human circulation and the etiology and development of arterial diseases, and to the design and development of prosthetic implants and tissue-engineered substitutes. Similarly, an understanding of the complex dynamics of flow past native human heart valves and the effect of that flow on the valvular tissue is necessary to elucidate the etiology of valvular diseases and in the design and development of valve replacements. In this paper we address the influence of biomechanical factors on the arterial circulation. The first part presents our current understanding of the impact of blood flow on the arterial wall at the cellular level and the relationship between flow-induced stresses and the etiology of atherosclerosis. The second part describes recent advances in the application of fluid–structure interaction analysis to arterial flows and the dynamics of heart valves.