A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach was presented to model the blood flows in the carotid bifurcation and the brain arteries under altered gravity. Physical models required for CFD simulation were introduced including a model for arterial wall motion due to fluid-wall interactions, a shear thinning fluid model of blood, a vascular bed model for outflow boundary conditions, and a model for autoregulation mechanism. The three-dimensional unsteady incompressible Navier-Stokes equations coupled with these models were solved iteratively using the pseudocompressibility method and dual time stepping. Gravity source terms were added to the Navier-Stokes equations to take the effect of gravity into account. For the treatment of complex geometry, a chimera overset grid technique was adopted to obtain connectivity between arterial branches. For code validation, computed results were compared with experimental data for both steady-state and time-dependent flows. This computational approach was then applied to blood flows through a realistic carotid bifurcation and two Circle of Willis models, one using an idealized geometry and the other using an anatomical data set. A three-dimensional Circle of Willis configuration was reconstructed from subject-specific magnetic resonance images using an image segmentation method. Through the numerical simulation of blood flow in two model problems, namely, the carotid bifurcation and the brain arteries, it was observed that the altered gravity has considerable effects on arterial contraction∕dilatation and consequent changes in flow conditions.

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