Flow details such as wall shear stress, hemodynamic pressure, and separation can play an important role in the development and progression of inflammation and cardiovascular disease, such as atherosclerosis. Clinical evidence correlating blood vessel locations exhibiting atherosclerosis and plaque buildup to flow disturbances and separation is significant. Prevalence of atherosclerosis in cardiovascular patients is noticed in vessels exhibiting geometric features such as bifurcation, arching, and stenosis. The bending vessel geometry is interesting for the wealth and variety of flow physics that it incorporates. An in vitro flow loop system for the study of cardiovascular disease is described. The system incorporates an aortic arch vessel model that permits endothelial cell culturing, sampling, and imaging on the aortic lumen. The model was designed to allow imaging of the internal flow by choice of the clear model material and the optically compatible working fluid. Particle image velocimetry measurements were acquired at different locations on the arch, for time-averaged inlet Reynolds number range of 2000 to 4400. It was found that the peristaltic pump introduced significant pulsatility to the flow particularly at the low rpm. The flow behavior in the arch is discussed with emphasis on separation and recirculation zones.

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