An axisymmetric model of an intracranial saccular aneurysm is presented and analyzed. The model assumes a simplified spherical geometry for the aneurysm in order to develop insight into the mechanisms that effect wall shear stress and deformation of the membrane. A theoretical model is first developed based on Stokes’ equations for viscous flow in order to derive a stream function that describes vortical flow inside a sphere representative of flow inside a real aneurysm. This flow pattern is implemented in a finite element model of a spherical aneurysm using the software COMSOL Multiphysics. The results indicate close agreement between the theoretical and computational models in terms of the flow streamlines and location of the maximum wall shear stress. Furthermore, the computational model accounts for the deformation and stress of the membrane, showing regions of maximum tension and compression at opposite poles of the saccular membrane. This work elucidates many important results regarding the mechanics of saccular aneurysms and provides a basis for developing more physiologically realistic analyses.

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