Experimental study of aortic flow in the ascending aorta via Particle Tracking Velocimetry

Utku Gülan*, Beat Lüthi, Markus Holzner, Alex Liberzon, Arkady Tsinober, Wolfgang Kinzelbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


A three-dimensional, pulsatile flow in a realistic phantom of a human ascending aorta with compliant walls is investigated in vitro. Three-Dimensional Particle Tracking Velocimetry (3D-PTV), an image-based, non-intrusive measuring method is used to analyze the aortic flow. The flow velocities and the turbulent fluctuations are determined. The velocity profile at the inlet of the ascending aorta is relatively flat with a skewed profile toward the inner aortic wall in the early systole. In the diastolic phase, a bidirectional flow is observed with a pronounced retrograde flow developing along the inner aortic wall, whereas the antegrade flow migrates toward the outer wall of the aorta. The spatial and temporal evolution of the vorticity field shows that the vortices begin developing along the inner wall during the deceleration phase and attenuate in the diastolic phase. The change in the cross-sectional area is more distinct distal to the inlet cross section. The mean kinetic energy is maximal in the peak systole, whereas the turbulent kinetic energy increases in the deceleration phase and reaches a maximum in the beginning of the diastolic phase. Finally, in a Lagrangian analysis, the temporal evolution of particle dispersion was studied. It shows that the dispersion is higher in the deceleration phase and in the beginning of the diastole, whereas in systole, it is smaller but non-negligible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1469-1485
Number of pages17
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2012


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