Impact of tissue porosity and asymmetry on the oxygen uptake of the human placenta: A numerical study

Tirosh Mekler, Romina Plitman Mayo, Jonathan Weissmann, Gil Marom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: This study proposes a computational fluid dynamics model of a human placenta's independent exchange unit (placentome) to assess the effect that the inner villi distribution and decidual veins (DVs) location and number, have on the oxygen uptake. Methods: The internal placentome porosity distribution was altered in symmetric morphology, while asymmetry was introduced by varying the location and number of DVs. The DV asymmetry was introduced by either displacing them circumferentially, thereby changing the angle between them, or by adding DVs in the inlet cross-section. The results were analyzed by the changes in the normalized oxygen mass fraction and the oxygen uptake. Results: Oxygenated blood was shown to be delivered deeper into the placentome when the area of non-homogeneous porosity was larger. The largest oxygen uptake was achieved in the asymmetric model with the smallest angle distance between the DVs, where a 10% decrease relative to the farthest case was obtained. Placing DVs adjacent to the spiral artery opening enhanced the drainage of oxygenated blood. Discussion: This study demonstrates the importance of the local porosity distribution for the proper perfusion of the intervillous space and proposes a novel approach to improve our understanding of the role of the DVs in placental oxygen uptake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Nov 2022


FundersFunder number
Preeclampsia Foundation


    • Decidual veins
    • Human placenta
    • Maternal circulation
    • Numerical modeling
    • Oxygen transport
    • Tissue porosity


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