Peristaltic flow in a tapered channel: Application to embryo transport within the uterine cavity

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Cyclic uterine peristalsis plays a central role in assisting the transport of sperm to the fallopian tube and later in the conception process in transporting the embryo to a fundal site for implantation. Fulfillment of these essential events within the time limits of fertilization and implantation depends on concomitant intrauterine fluid motion induced by uterine wall motility. A model of wall-induced fluid flow within a finite tapered two-dimensional channel was developed to simulate intrauterine fluid flow pattern and transport phenomena due to symmetric and asymmetric wall displacements. The analysis showed that the transport phenomena are strongly dependent on the phase shift of wall displacement and the angle between the walls. The velocities, flow rates, pressure and the axial transport of massless particles are reduced to zero when contractions are completely out of phase. Cases of reflux and trapping in a tapered channel are discussed for the first time. The reflux phenomenon is most likely to occur when wall motility is asymmetric, especially when the angle between the walls increases, while trapping is enhanced as the asymmetric motility and the angle between the channel walls decrease. The relevance of the results to intrauterine fluid transport phenomena, embryo transfer and hydrosalpinx was explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-484
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001


  • Embryo transport
  • Peristaltic motion
  • Reflux
  • Trapping
  • Uterine contraction


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