Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Scientifc Reports | (2022) 12:20568 |


Open access.


It is well known that blood exhibits non-Newtonian viscosity, but it is generally modeled as a Newtonian fluid. However, in situations of low shear rate, the validity of the Newtonian assumption is questionable. In this study, we investigated differences between Newtonian and non-Newtonian hemodynamic metrics such as velocity, vorticity, and wall shear stress. In addition, we investigated cardiovascular transport using two different approaches, Eulerian mass transport and Lagrangian particle tracking. Non-Newtonian solutions revealed important differences in both hemodynamic and transport metrics relative to the Newtonian model. Most notably for the hemodynamic metrics, in-plane velocity and vorticity were consistently larger in the Newtonian approximation for both arterial and venous flows. Conversely, wall shear stresses were larger for the non-Newtonian case for both the arterial and venous models. Our results also indicate that for the Lagrangian metrics, the history of accumulated shear was consistently larger for both arterial and venous flows in the Newtonian approximation. Lastly, our results also suggest that the Newtonian model produces larger near wall and luminal mass transport values compared to the non-Newtonian model, likely due to the increased vorticity and recirculation. These findings demonstrate the importance of accounting for non-Newtonian behavior in cardiovascular flows exhibiting significant regions of low shear rate and recirculation.