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A Continuum Model for Pressure-Flow Relationship in Human Pulmonary Circulation

Wei Huang∗,†, Qinlian Zhou†,‡, Jian Gao, R. T. Yen‡,§,¶

Department of Health Technology and Informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Wei Huang and Qinlian Zhou contributed equally to this work.
Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152
§ Correspondent author. E-mail:
This paper is a tribute to Prof. Pin Tong in honor of his 72th birthday, and edited by Dr. David Lam.

Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics 2011, 8(2), 105-122.


A continuum model was introduced to analyze the pressure-flow relationship for steady flow in human pulmonary circulation. The continuum approach was based on the principles of continuum mechanics in conjunction with detailed measurement of vascular geometry, vascular elasticity and blood rheology. The pulmonary arteries and veins were considered as elastic tubes and the "fifth-power law" was used to describe the pressure-flow relationship. For pulmonary capillaries, the "sheet-flow" theory was employed and the pressure-flow relationship was represented by the "fourth-power law". In this paper, the pressure-flow relationship for the whole pulmonary circulation and the longitudinal pressure distribution along the streamlines were studied. Our computed data showed general agreement with the experimental data for the normal subjects and the patients with mitral stenosis and chronic bronchitis in the literature. In conclusion, our continuum model can be used to predict the changes of steady flow in human pulmonary circulation.


Cite This Article

Huang, W., Zhou, Q., Gao, J., Yen, R. T. (2011). A Continuum Model for Pressure-Flow Relationship in Human Pulmonary Circulation. Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, 8(2), 105–122.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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