Rigid and compliant casts of a human aortic bifurcation were subjected to physiologically realistic pulsatile fluid flows. At a number of sites near the wall in the approximate median plane of the bifurcation of these models, fluid velocity was measured with a laser Doppler velocimeter, and wall motion (in the case of the compliant cast) was determined with a Reticon linescan camera. The velocity and wall motion data were combined to estimate the instantaneous shear rates at the cast wall. Analysis showed that at the outer walls the cast compliance reduced shear rates, while at the walls of the flow divider the shear rate was increased.

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