Cardiovascular Engineering

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 51–73 | Cite as

A One-dimensional Model of Blood Flow in Arteries with Friction and Convection Based on the Womersley Velocity Profile

Original Paper


In this paper, we present a one-dimensional model for blood flow in arteries, without assuming an a priori shape for the velocity profile across an artery (Azer, Ph.D. thesis, Courant Institute, New York University, 2006). We combine the one-dimensional equations for conservation of mass and momentum with the Womersley model for the velocity profile in an iterative way. The pressure gradient of the one-dimensional model drives the Womersley equations, and the velocity profiles calculated then feed back into both the friction and nonlinear parts of the one-dimensional model. Besides enabling us to evaluate the friction correctly and also to use the velocity profile to correct the nonlinear terms, having the velocity profile available as output should be useful in a variety of applications. We present flow simulations using both structured trees and pure resistance models for the small arteries, and compare the resulting flow and pressure waves under various friction models. Moreover, we show how to couple the one-dimensional equations with the Taylor diffusion limit (Azer, Int J Heat Mass Transfer 2005;48:2735–40; Taylor, Proc R Soc Lond Ser A 1953;219:186–203) of the convection-diffusion equations to drive the concentration of a solute along an artery in time.


One-dimensional blood flow Womersley MRI Shear stress Velocity profile Structured tree Hypertension Compliance Taylor diffusion 



The authors would like to thank Mette Olufsen for helpful discussion on structured trees, and for making available the MRI data of a healthy male subject which was recorded by E.M Pedersen and Y. Kim at Skejby University Hospital in Denmark. This research was supported by the Applied Computer Science Department at Merck & Co., Inc. We would especially like to thank Jeffrey Saltzman, Robert Nachbar and Christopher Tong for their interest in this work and for helpful discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Courant Institute of Mathematical SciencesNew York UniversityNew YorkNYUSA
  2. 2.Applied Computer Science and Mathematics DepartmentRahwayNJUSA

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