Skip to main content

Time-resolved PIV measurements of the flow field in a stenosed, compliant arterial model


Compliant (flexible) structures play an important role in several biological flows including the lungs, heart and arteries. Coronary heart disease is caused by a constriction in the artery due to a build-up of atherosclerotic plaque. This plaque is also of major concern in the carotid artery which supplies blood to the brain. Blood flow within these arteries is strongly influenced by the movement of the wall. To study these problems experimentally in vitro, especially using flow visualisation techniques, can be expensive due to the high-intensity and high-repetition rate light sources required. In this work, time-resolved particle image velocimetry using a relatively low-cost light-emitting diode illumination system was applied to the study of a compliant flow phantom representing a stenosed (constricted) carotid artery experiencing a physiologically realistic flow wave. Dynamic similarity between in vivo and in vitro conditions was ensured in phantom construction by matching the distensibility and the elastic wave propagation wavelength and in the fluid system through matching Reynolds (Re) and Womersley number (α) with a maximum, minimum and mean Re of 939, 379 and 632, respectively, and a α of 4.54. The stenosis had a symmetric constriction of 50 % by diameter (75 % by area). Once the flow rate reached a critical value, Kelvin–Helmholtz instabilities were observed to occur in the shear layer between the main jet exiting the stenosis and a reverse flow region that occurred at a radial distance of 0.34D from the axis of symmetry in the region on interest 0–2.5D longitudinally downstream from the stenosis exit. The instability had an axis-symmetric nature, but as peak flow rate was approached this symmetry breaks down producing instability in the flow field. The characteristics of the vortex train were sensitive not only to the instantaneous flow rate, but also to whether the flow was accelerating or decelerating globally.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14
Fig. 15
Fig. 16
Fig. 17
Fig. 18
Fig. 19
Fig. 20
Fig. 21


  • Ahmed S, Sutalo ID, Kavnoudias H, Madan A (2007) Fluid structure interaction modelling of a patient specific cerebral aneurysm effect of hypertension and modulus of elasticity. In: Jacobs P, McIntyre T, Cleary M et al (eds) 16th Australasian fluid mechanics conference. Crown Plaza, Gold Coast, Australia, pp 75–81

    Google Scholar 

  • Bertram CD, Elliott NSJ (2003) Flow-rate limitation in a uniform thin-walled collapsible tube, with comparison to a uniform thick-walled tube and a tube of tapering thickness. J Fluids Struct 17(4):541–559

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Buchmann N (2010) Development of particle image velocimetry for in vitro studies of arterial haemodynamics. University of Canterbury, Christchurch

    Google Scholar 

  • Buchmann NA, Jermy MC (2007) Particle image velocimetry measurements of blood flow in a modelled carotid artery bifurcation. In: Paper presented at the proceedings of the 16th Australasian fluid mechanics conference, Gold Coast, Australia

  • Buchmann NA, Jermy MC (2010) Transient flow and shear stress measurements in an anatomical model of the human carotid artery. In: 15th international symposium of laser techniques to fluid mechanics, Lisbon, Portugal, 5–8 July 2010

  • Buchmann NA, Yamamoto M, Jermy M, David T (2010) Particle image velocimetry (PIV) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of carotid artery haemodynamics under steady flow: a validation study. J Biomech Sci Eng 5(4):421–436

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Buchmann NA, Willert CE, Soria J (2012) Pulsed, high-power LED illumination for tomographic particle image velocimetry. Exp Fluids 53(5):1545–1560. doi:10.1007/s00348-012-1374-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Burgmann S, Große S, Schröder W, Roggenkamp J, Jansen S, Gräf F, Büsen M (2009) A refractive index-matched facility for fluid–structure interaction studies of pulsatile and oscillating flow in elastic vessels of adjustable compliance. Exp Fluids 47(4):865–881

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Caro CG, Pedley TJ, Schroter RC, Seed WA (1978) The mechanics of circulation. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  • Dec JE, Keller JO, Hongo I (1991) Time-resolved velocities and turbulence in the oscillating flow of a pulse combustor tail pipe. Combust Flame 83(3–4):271–292. doi:10.1016/0010-2180(91)90075-m

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Deplano V, Knapp Y, Bertrand E, Gaillard E (2007) Flow behaviour in an asymmetric compliant experimental model for abdominal aortic aneurysm. J Biomech 40(11):2406–2413

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Durst F, Ray S, Unsal B, Bayoumi OA (2005) The development lengths of laminar pipe and channel flows. J Fluids Eng 127(6):1154–1160

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Geoghegan PH, Jermy MC, Buchmann NA, Spence CJ, Freitag T (2009) Experimental investigation of flow in a compliant tube using particle image velocimetry. Paper presented at the 8th international symposium on particle image velocimetry, Melbourne, Australia

  • Geoghegan PH, Buchmann N, Jermy M, Nobes D, Spence C, Docherty PD (2010) SPIV and image correlation measurements of surface displacement during pulsatile flow in models of compliant, healthy and stenosed arteries. Paper presented at the 15th international symposium of laser techniques to fluid mechanics, Lisbon, Portugal, 5–8 July

  • Geoghegan P, Buchmann N, Spence C, Moore S, Jermy M (2012) Fabrication of rigid and flexible refractive-index-matched flow phantoms for flow visualisation and optical flow measurements. Exp Fluids, 1–17. doi:10.1007/s00348-011-1258-0

  • Keane RD, Adrian RJ (1990) Optimization of particle image velocimeters. I. Double pulsed systems. Meas Sci Technol 1(11):1202

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Luminus (2009) Product data sheet, PhlatLight PT120 projection chipset. Luminus Devices Inc

  • Mautner SL, Mautner GC, Froehlich J, Feuerstein IM, Proschan MA, Roberts WC, Doppman JL (1994) Coronary artery disease; prediction with in vitro electron beam CT. Radiology 192:625–630

    Google Scholar 

  • Pielhop K, Klaas M, Schröder W (2012) Analysis of the unsteady flow in an elastic stenotic vessel. Eur J Mech B/Fluids. doi:10.1016/j.euromechflu.2012.01.010

  • Raffel M, Willert CE, Wereley ST, Kompenhans J (2007) Particle image velocimetry: a practical guide second edition, 2nd edn. Springer, Berlin

    Google Scholar 

  • Reynolds WC, Hussain AKMF (1972) The mechanics of an organized wave in turbulent shear flow. Part 3. Theoretical models and comparisons with experiments. J Fluid Mech 54(02):263–288. doi:10.1017/S0022112072000679

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Riley W, Barnes R, Evans G, Burke G (1992) Ultrasonic measurement of the elastic modulus of the common carotid artery. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Stroke 23(7):952–956

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Scotti C, Shkolnik A, Muluk S, Finol E (2005) Fluid-structure interaction in abdominal aortic aneurysms: effects of asymmetry and wall thickness. BioMed Eng Online 4(1):64

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Spence C, Buchmann N, Jermy M (2011) Unsteady flow in the nasal cavity with high flow therapy measured by stereoscopic PIV. Exp Fluids, 1–11. doi:10.1007/s00348-011-1044-z

  • Tateshima S, Grinstead J, Sinha S, Nien Y-L, Murayama Y, Villablanca JP, Tanishita K, Vinuela F (2004) Intraaneurysmal flow visualization by using phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging: feasibility study based on a geometrically realistic in vitro aneurysm model. J Neurosurg 100:1041–1048

    Google Scholar 

  • Varghese SS, Frankel SH, Fischer PF, Mathematics, Science C, Univ. P (2007a) Direct numerical simulation of stenotic flows, part 1: steady flow. J Fluid Mech 582:253–280

  • Varghese SS, Frankel SH, Fischer PF, Mathematics, Science C, Univ. P (2007b) Direct numerical simulation of stenotic flows, part 2: pulsatile flow. J Fluid Mech 582:281–318

  • Vétel J, Garon A, Pelletier D, Fasinas M-I (2008) Asymmetry and transition to turbulence in a smooth axisymmetric constriction. J Fluid Mech 607(1):351–386. doi:10.1017/S0022112008002188

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  • Vétel J, Garon A, Pelletier D (2010) Vortex identification methods based on temporal signal-processing of time-resolved PIV data. Exp Fluids 48(3):441–459. doi:10.1007/s00348-009-0749-8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wereley ST, Gui L, Meinhart CD (2002) Advanced algorithms for microscale particle image velocimetry. AIAA J 40(6):1047–1055

    Google Scholar 

  • Willert C, Stasicki B, Klinner J, Moessner S (2010) Pulsed operation of high-power light emitting diodes for imaging flow velocimetry. Meas Sci Technol 21(7):075402

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Willert CE, Mitchell DM, Soria J (2012) An assessment of high-power light-emitting diodes for high frame rate Schlieren imaging. Exp Fluids 53(2):413–421. doi:10.1007/s00348-012-1297-1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Womersley JR (1955) Method for the calculation of velocity, rate of flow and viscous drag in arteries when the pressure gradient is known. J Physiol 127:553–563

    Google Scholar 

  • Yagi T, Kamoda A, Sato A, Yang W, Umezu M (2009) 3D volume flow visualization for vascular flow modelling using stereo PIV with fluorescent tracer particles. Paper presented at the 8th international symposium on particle image velocimetry (PIV 09), Melbourne, Australia

Download references


We are grateful to Mr Graeme Harris, Mr Julian Phillips and the staff of the Department of Mechanical Engineering workshop for technical support. This work was carried out under the UC doctoral scholarship.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to P. H. Geoghegan.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Geoghegan, P.H., Buchmann, N.A., Soria, J. et al. Time-resolved PIV measurements of the flow field in a stenosed, compliant arterial model. Exp Fluids 54, 1528 (2013).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • Particle Image Velocimetry
  • Shear Layer
  • Vortex Ring
  • Light Sheet
  • Phase Location