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Computational modeling of the mechanical behavior of the cerebrospinal fluid system

A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of the cerebrospinal fluid system was constructed based on a simplified geometry of the brain ventricles and their connecting pathways. The flow is driven by a prescribed sinusoidal motion of the third ventricle lateral walls, with all other boundaries being rigid. The pressure propagation between the third and lateral ventricles was examined and compared to data obtained from a similar geometry with a stenosed aqueduct. It could be shown that the pressure amplitude in the lateral ventricles increases in the presence of aqueduct stenosis. No difference in phase shift between the motion of the third ventricle walls and the pressure in the lateral ventricles because of the aqueduct stenosis could be observed. It is deduced that CFD can be used to analyze the pressure propagation and its phase shift relative to the ventricle wall motion. It is further deduced that only models that take into account the coupling between ventricles, which feature a representation of the original geometry that is as accurate as possible and which represent the ventricle boundary motion realistically, should be used to make quantitative statements on flow and pressure in the ventricular space.

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V. Kurtcuoglu, D. Poulikakos, Y. Ventikos. ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 127(2), 264 - 269 (2005). doi: 10.1115/1.1865191