Using discrete multi-physics for detailed exploration of hydrodynamics in an in vitro colon system

A. Alexiadis*, K. Stamatopoulos, W. Wen, H. K. Batchelor, S. Bakalis, M. Barigou, M. J H Simmons

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
313 Downloads (Pure)


We developed a mathematical model that describes the motion of viscous fluids in the partially-filled colon caused by the periodic contractions of flexible walls (peristalsis). In-vitro data are used to validate the model. The model is then used to identify two fundamental mechanisms of mass transport: the surfing mode and the pouring mode. The first mechanism is faster, but only involves the surface of the liquid. The second mechanism causes deeper mixing, and appears to be the main transport mechanism. Based on the gained understanding, we propose a series of measures that can improve the reliability of in-vitro models. The tracer in PET-like experiments, in particular, should not be injected in the first pocket, and its viscosity should be as close as possible to that of the fluid. If these conditions are not met, the dynamics of the tracer and the fluid diverge, compromising the accuracy of the in-vitro data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-198
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
Early online date9 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Fluid dynamics
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Intestine
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Peristalsis
  • Smoothed particle hydrodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics


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