Modelling large scale artery haemodynamics from the heart to the eye in response to simulated microgravity

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We investigated variations in haemodynamics in response to simulated microgravity across a semi-subject-specific three-dimensional (3D) continuous arterial network connecting the heart to the eye using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Using this model we simulated pulsatile blood flow in an upright Earth gravity case and a simulated microgravity case. Under simulated microgravity, regional time-averaged wall shear stress (TAWSS) increased and oscillatory shear index (OSI) decreased in upper body arteries, whilst the opposite was observed in the lower body. Between cases, uniform changes in TAWSS and OSI were found in the retina across diameters. This work demonstrates that 3D CFD simulations can be performed across continuously connected networks of small and large arteries. Simulated results exhibited similarities to low dimensional spaceflight simulations and measured data—specifically that blood flow and shear stress decrease towards the lower limbs and increase towards the cerebrovasculature and eyes in response to simulated microgravity, relative to an upright position in Earth gravity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Number of pages13
Journalnpj Microgravity
Issue number1
Early online date13 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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