Table of Contents
ISRN Biomathematics
Volume 2014, Article ID 359327, 11 pages
Research Article

Computational Simulations of Flow and Oxygen/Drug Delivery in a Three-Dimensional Capillary Network

1Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-6106, USA
2Department of Mechanical and Design Engineering, Hongik University, Sejong, Republic of Korea
3Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan

Received 16 December 2013; Accepted 3 February 2014; Published 15 April 2014

Academic Editors: M. Hutmacher and A. Valleriani

Copyright © 2014 T.-W. Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is developed to simulate the flow and delivery of oxygen and other substances in a capillary network. A three-dimensional capillary network has been constructed to replicate the one studied by Secomb et al. (2000), and the computational framework features a non-Newtonian viscosity model of blood and the oxygen transport model including in-stream oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation and wall flux due to tissue absorption, as well as an ability to study delivery of drugs and other materials in the capillary streams. The model is first run to compute the volumetric flow rates from the velocity profiles in the segments and compared with Secomb’s work with good agreement. Effects of abnormal pressure and stenosis conditions, as well as those arising from different capillary configurations, on the flow and oxygen delivery are investigated, along with a brief look at the unsteady effects and drug dispersion in the capillary network. The current approach allows for inclusion of oxygen and other material transports, including drugs, nutrients, or contaminants based on the flow simulations. Also, three-dimensional models of complex circulatory systems ranging in scale from macro- to microvascular vessels, in principle, can be constructed and analyzed in detail using the current method.