Computational analysis of the effectiveness of blood flushing with saline injection from an intravascular diagnostic catheter

Narugopal Ghata, Ralph C. Aldredge, Julien Bec, Laura Marcu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Optical techniques including fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy have demonstrated potential as a tool for study and diagnosis of arterial vessel pathologies. However, their application in the intravascular diagnostic procedures has been hampered by the presence of blood hemoglobin that affects the light delivery to and the collection from the vessel wall. We report a computational fluid dynamics model that allows for the optimization of blood flushing parameters in a manner that minimizes the amount of saline needed to clear the optical field of view and reduces any adverse effects caused by the external saline jet. A 3D turbulence (k - ω) model was employed for Eulerian-Eulerian two-phase flow to simulate the flow inside and around a side-viewing fiber-optic catheter. Current analysis demonstrates the effects of various parameters including infusion and blood flow rates, vessel diameters, and pulsatile nature of blood flow on the flow structure around the catheter tip. The results from this study can be utilized in determining the optimal flushing rate for given vessel diameter, blood flow rate, and maximum wall shear stress that the vessel wall can sustain and subsequently in optimizing the design parameters of optical-based intravascular catheters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1278-1293
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Eulerian-Eulerian two-phase flow
  • k - ω turbulence model
  • Mixture model
  • Multiphase flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Software
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Modeling and Simulation


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