Volume 5 (2010) Issue 4 Pages 303-313
Coronary arterial flow can be described in terms of an intramyocardial pump that displaces blood backward and forward during systole and diastole, which is termed diastolic predominant flow. When the diastolic predominant flow runs through the stenotic arteries, the geometric characteristics and mechanical properties of these arteries may influence the flow. We have developed an experimental system to represent this diastolic predominant flow phenomenon. To produce a stenosis model, polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel was shaped into various forms of diseased coronary stenosis. The mechanical properties of this stenosis model are similar to human coronary arteries. We then examined the effects of stenosis severity, stiffness, and curvature on flow and pressure. A change in curvature had only a minimal affect on flow, while stenosis severity and the stiffness parameter significantly influenced diastolic predominant pulsatile flow.