On non-Kolmogorov turbulence in blood flow and its possible role in mechanobiological stimulation


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The study of turbulence in physiologic blood flow is important due to its strong relevance to endothelial mechanobiology and vascular disease . Recently, Saqr et al. (Sci Rep 10 , 15,492, 2020) discovered non-Kolmogorov turbulence in physiologic blood flow in vivo, traced its origins to the Navier–Stokes equation and demonstrated some of its properties using chaos and hydrodynamic-stability theories. The present work extends these findings and investigates some inherent characteristics of non-Kolmogorov turbulence in monoharmonic and multiharmonic pulsatile flow under ideal physiologic conditions. The purpose of this work is to propose a conjecture for the origins for picoNewton forces that are known to regulate endothelial cells’ functions. The new conjecture relates these forces to physiologic momentum-viscous interactions in the near-wall region of the flow. Here, we used high-resolution large eddy simulation (HRLES) to study pulsatile incompressible flow in a straight pipe of L/D=20 . The simulations presented Newtonian and Carreau–Yasuda fluid flows, at Re_m≈ 250 , each represented by one, two and three boundary harmonics. Comparison was established based on maintaining constant time-averaged mass flow rate in all simulations. First, we report the effect of primary harmonics on the global power budget using primitive variables in phase space. Second, we describe the non-Kolmogorov turbulence in frequency domain. Third, we investigate the near-wall coherent structures in time and space domains. Finally, we propose a new conjecture for the role of turbulence in endothelial cells’ mechanobiology. The proposed conjecture correlates near-wall turbulence to a force field of picoNewton scale, suggesting possible relevance to endothelial cells mechanobiology.
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