European Biophysics Journal

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 407–411 | Cite as

Biophysical modeling of wave propagation phenomena: experimental determination of pulse wave velocity in viscous fluid-filled elastic tubes in a gravitation field

  • Dejan ŽikićEmail author
  • Bojana Stojadinović
  • Zorica Nestorović
Biophysics Letter


Biophysical understanding of arterial hemodynamics plays an important role in proper medical diagnosis and investigation of cardiovascular disease pathogens. One of the major cardiovascular parameters is pulse wave velocity (PWV), which depends on the mechanical properties of the arterial wall. The PWV contains information on the condition of the cardiovascular system as well as its physiological age. In humans and most animals, blood flow through the blood vessels is affected by several internal and external forces. The most influencing external force on blood flow is gravity. In the upright position of the body, blood moves from heart to head, opposite to gravity, and from the heart to the legs, in direction of the gravitational force. To investigate how gravity affects PWV, we have developed a biophysical model of cardiovascular system that simulates blood flow in the upright position of the body. The paper presents the results of measurement of PWV in an elastic tube filled with fluids of different viscosities in the gravitational field.


Pulse wave velocity Cardiovascular model Arterial blood flow 



This work was supported by Serbian Ministry of Education and Science Projects 32040 and 41022.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, are declared by the authors.


  1. Feng J, Khir A (2010) Determination of wave speed and wave separation in the arteries using diameter and velocity. J Biomech 43:455–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fung YC (1997) Biomechanics: circulation. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Khir A, Parker K (2002) Measurements of wave speed and reflected waves in elastic tubes and bifurcations. J Biomech 35:775–783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lazović B, Mazić S, Zikich D, Žikić D (2015) The mathematical model of the radial artery blood pressure waveform through monitoring of the age-related changes. Wave Motion 56:14–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Li JK (1989) Increased arterial pulse wave reflections and pulsatile energy loss in acute hypertension. Angiology 40(8):730–735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Li Y, Ashraf W, Khir A (2011) Experimental validation of non-invasive and fluid density independent methods for the determination of local wave speed and arrival time of reflected wave. J Biomech 44:1393–1399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Lighthill MJ (1978) Waves in fluids. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  8. Nichols WW, Singh BM (2002) Augmentation index as a measure of peripheral vascular disease state. Curr Opin Cardiol 17(5):543–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. O’Rourke MF (1970) Arterial hemodynamics in hypertension. Circ Res 27(Suppl. 2):123Google Scholar
  10. Steppan J, Barodka V, Berkowitz DE, Nyhan D (2011) Vascular stiffness and increased pulse pressure in the ageing cardiovascular system. Cardiol Res Pract 2011:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Stojadinovic B, Tenne T, Zikich D, Rajković N, Milošević N, Lazović B, Žikić D (2015) Effect of viscosity on the wave propagation. J Biomech 48(15):3969–3974CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Swillens A, Lanoye L, De Backer J, Stergiopulos N, Verdonck PR, Vermassen F, Segers P (2008) Effect of an abdominal aortic aneurysm on wave reflection in the aorta. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 55(5):1602–1611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Tijsseling AS, Anderson A (2012) A. Isebree Moens and D.J. Korteweg: on the speed of propagation of waves in elastic tubes. BHR Group. In: Anderson S (ed) Proceedings of the 11th international conference on pressure surges, Lisbon, pp 227–245. ISBN: 978-1-85598-133-1Google Scholar
  14. Womersley JR (1957) An elastic tube theory of pulse transmission and oscillatory flow in mammalian arteries. Technical report WADC-TR-56-614. Wright Air Development Center, Dayton, OHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biophysics, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

Personalised recommendations