Assessment of surface roughness and blood rheology on local coronary haemodynamics: A multi-scale computational fluid dynamics study

David G. Owen*, Torsten Schenkel, Duncan E.T. Shepherd, Daniel M. Espino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
135 Downloads (Pure)


The surface roughness of the coronary artery is associated with the onset of atherosclerosis. The study applies, for the first time, the micro-scale variation of the artery surface to a 3D coronary model, investigating the impact on haemodynamic parameters which are indicators for atherosclerosis. The surface roughness of porcine coronary arteries have been detailed based on optical microscopy and implemented into a cylindrical section of coronary artery. Several approaches to rheology are compared to determine the benefits/limitations of both single and multiphase models for multi-scale geometry. Haemodynamic parameters averaged over the rough/smooth sections are similar; however, the rough surface experiences a much wider range, with maximum wall shear stress greater than 6 Pa compared to the approximately 3 Pa on the smooth segment. This suggests the smooth-walled assumption may neglect important near-wall haemodynamics. While rheological models lack sufficient definition to truly encompass the micro-scale effects occurring over the rough surface, single-phase models (Newtonian and non-Newtonian) provide numerically stable and comparable results to other coronary simulations. Multiphase models allow for phase interactions between plasma and red blood cells which is more suited to such multi-scale models. These models require additional physical laws to govern advection/aggregation of particulates in the near-wall region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20200327
JournalJournal of The Royal Society Interface
Issue number169
Early online date12 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2020


  • computational fluid dynamics
  • coronary
  • multiphase
  • red blood cell migration
  • rheology
  • roughness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering


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