Journal of Engineering Mathematics

, Volume 47, Issue 3–4, pp 217–250 | Cite as

One-dimensional modelling of a vascular network in space-time variables

  • S.J. Sherwin
  • V. Franke
  • J. Peiró
  • K. Parker


In this paper a one-dimensional model of a vascular network based on space-time variables is investigated. Although the one-dimensional system has been more widely studied using a space-frequency decomposition, the space-time formulation offers a more direct physical interpretation of the dynamics of the system. The objective of the paper is to highlight how the space-time representation of the linear and nonlinear one-dimensional system can be theoretically and numerically modelled. In deriving the governing equations from first principles, the assumptions involved in constructing the system in terms of area-mass flux (A,Q), area-velocity (A,u), pressure-velocity (p,u) and pressure-mass flux(p,Q) variables are discussed. For the nonlinear hyperbolic system expressed in terms of the (A,u) variables the extension of the single-vessel model to a network of vessels is achieved using a characteristic decomposition combined with conservation of mass and total pressure. The more widely studied linearised system is also discussed where conservation of static pressure, instead of total pressure, is enforced in the extension to a network. Consideration of the linearised system also allows for the derivation of a reflection coefficient analogous to the approach adopted in acoustics and surface waves. The derivation of the fundamental equations in conservative and characteristic variables provides the basic information for many numerical approaches. In the current work the linear and nonlinear systems have been solved using a spectral/hp element spatial discretisation with a discontinuous Galerkin formulation and a second-order Adams-Bashforth time-integration scheme. The numerical scheme is then applied to a model arterial network of the human vascular system previously studied by Wang and Parker (To appear in J. Biomech. (2004)). Using this numerical model the role of nonlinearity is also considered by comparison of the linearised and nonlinearised results. Similar to previous work only secondary contributions are observed from the nonlinear effects under physiological conditions in the systemic system. Finally, the effect of the reflection coefficient on reversal of the flow waveform in the parent vessel of a bifurcation is considered for a system with a low terminal resistance as observed in vessels such as the umbilical arteries.

branching flows linearised reflection coefficient 1D flow modelling spectral/hp element methods vascular network 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • S.J. Sherwin
    • 1
  • V. Franke
    • 1
  • J. Peiró
    • 1
  • K. Parker
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AeronauticsSouth Kensington Campus, Imperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringSouth Kensington Campus, Imperial College LondonLondonUK

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