Modeling arterial blood flow using radial basis functions

Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Darrell Pepper, Chair

Second Committee Member

William Culbreth

Third Committee Member

Hui Zhao

Graduate Faculty Representative

Laxmi Gewali

Number of Pages



Investigation into the mechanics of blood flow in arteries helps provide insight into the mechanism of cardiovascular disease. As experimental measurements can be difficult, it is of interest to apply numerical simulation to the problem. This thesis examined fluid flow in arteries using a meshless method, namely radial basis functions with a time integration technique. Since meshless methods do not require the time consuming step of connective mesh generation, interest has grown about applying them in fluid dynamics. The method was implemented and verified using MATLAB. Cases involved axisymmetric, pulsatile flow of a Newtonian and power-law fluid both with rigid and distensible tube walls. The method was shown to be a close approximation for the Newtonian rigid and distensible wall case, but showed some inconsistencies when applying the power-law fluid. The study found that in particular, shape parameters were important to determining the accuracy and consistency of the solution. In summary, the meshless method was found to be a close initial approximation but further work is needed to improve accuracy and consistency of the method.


Blood; Blood flow; Heart — Mechanical properties; MATLAB; Meshfree methods (Numerical analysis); Meshless; Radial basis functions


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit