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Analytical solution for pulsatile viscous flow in a straight elliptic annulus and application to the motion of the cerebrospinal fluid.

We present here the analytical solution of transient, laminar, viscous flow of an incompressible, Newtonian fluid driven by a harmonically oscillating pressure gradient in a straight elliptic annulus. The analytical formulation is based on the exact solution of the governing fluid flow equations known as Navier–Stokes equations. We validate the analytical solution using a finite-volume computational fluid dynamics approach. As the analytical solution includes Mathieu and modified Mathieu functions, we also present a stepwise procedure for their evaluation for large complex arguments typically associated with viscous flows. We further outline the procedure for evaluating the associated Fourier coefficients and their eigenvalues. We finally apply the analytical solution to investigate the cerebrospinal fluid flow in the human spinal cavity, which features a shape similar to an elliptic annulus.

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S. Gupta, D. Poulikakos, V. Kurtcuoglu. Physics of Fluids, 20(9), 093607 (2008). doi: 10.1063/1.2988858