Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Motivated by the study of blood flow in the coronary arteries, this paper examines the flow of an incompressible Newtonian fluid in a tube of time-dependent curvature. The flow is driven by an oscillatory pressure gradient with the same dimensionless frequency, α, as the curvature variation. The dimensionless governing parameters of the flow are α, the curvature ratio δ0 a secondary streaming Reynolds number Rs and a parameter Rt representing the time-dependence of curvature. We consider the parameter regime δ0 ≪ Rt ≪ 1 (Rs and α remain O(1) initially) in which the effect of introducing time-dependent curvature is to perturb the flow driven by an oscillatory pressure gradient in a fixed curved tube. Flows driven by low- and high-frequency pressure gradients are then considered. At low frequency (δ0 ≪ Rt ≪ α ≪ 1) the flow is determined by using a sequence of power series expansions (Rs = O(1)). At high frequency (δ0 ≪ Rt ≪ 1/α2 ≪ 1) the solution is obtained using matched asymptotic expansions for the region near the wall (Stokes layer) and the region away from the wall in the interior of the pipe. The behaviour of the flow in the interior is then determined at both small and intermediate values of Rs. For both the low and high frequency cases, we find the principal corrections introduced by the time-varying curvature to the primary and secondary flows, and hence to the wall shear stress. The physiological application to flow in the coronary arteries is discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Publication Date





327 - 352