The frequency response of surface-mounted electrochemical mass transfer probes used to deduce wall shear rates has been investigated experimentally for the case of fully developed laminar pulsatile flow in a straight tube. Generally good agreement is found with the asymptotic results obtained by Lighthill’s methods. The significance of the results with regard to the investigation of models of pulsatile flows of physiological interest is discussed. It is concluded that the frequency-dependent phase and amplitude corrections required to obtain accurate wall shear measurements are of such magnitudes as to render impractical the use of electrochemical probes to determine wall shear rates in these flows.

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