Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Aeronautics

Professor of Computational Fluid Mechanics



+44 (0)20 7594 5052s.sherwin Website




313BCity and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Vincent, PE and Plata, AM and Hunt, AAE and Weinberg, PD and Sherwin, SJ},
doi = {10.1098/rsif.2011.0116},
journal = {Journal of the Royal Society Interface},
pages = {1708--1719},
title = {Blood Flow in the Rabbit Aortic Arch and Descending Thoracic Aorta},
url = {},
volume = {8},
year = {2011}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The distribution of atherosclerotic lesions within the rabbit vasculature, particularly within the descending thoracic aorta, has been mapped in numerous studies. The patchy nature of such lesions has been attributed to local variation in the pattern of blood flow. However, there have been few attempts to model and characterize the flow. In this study, a high-order continuous Galerkin finite-element method was used to simulate blood flow within a realistic representation of the rabbit aortic arch and descending thoracic aorta. The geometry, which was obtained from computed tomography of a resin corrosion cast, included all vessels originating from the aortic arch (followed to at least their second generation) and five pairs of intercostal arteries originating from the proximal descending thoracic aorta. The simulations showed that small geometrical undulations associated with the ductus arteriosus scar cause significant deviations in wall shear stress (WSS). This finding highlights the importance of geometrical accuracy when analysing WSS or related metrics. It was also observed that two Dean-type vortices form in the aortic arch and propagate down the descending thoracic aorta (along with an associated skewed axial velocity profile). This leads to the occurrence of axial streaks in WSS, similar in nature to the axial streaks of lipid deposition found in the descending aorta of cholesterol-fed rabbits. Finally, it was observed that WSS patterns within the vicinity of intercostal branch ostia depend not only on local flow features caused by the branches themselves, but also on larger-scale flow features within the descending aorta, which vary between branches at different locations. This result implies that disease and WSS patterns in the vicinity of intercostal ostia are best compared on a branch-by-branch basis.
AU - Vincent,PE
AU - Plata,AM
AU - Hunt,AAE
AU - Weinberg,PD
AU - Sherwin,SJ
DO - 10.1098/rsif.2011.0116
EP - 1719
PY - 2011///
SN - 1742-5689
SP - 1708
TI - Blood Flow in the Rabbit Aortic Arch and Descending Thoracic Aorta
T2 - Journal of the Royal Society Interface
UR -
UR -
VL - 8
ER -