Dynamic shear stress in parallel-plate flow chambers

R.G. Bacabac, T.H. Smit, S.C. Cowin, J.J.W.A. van Loon, F.T. Nieuwstadt, R.M. Heethaar, J. Klein-Nulend

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


An in vitro model using a parallel-plate fluid flow chamber is supposed to simulate in vivo fluid shear stresses on various cell types exposed to dynamic fluid flow in their physiological environment. The metabolic response of cells in vitro is associated with the wall shear stress. However, parallel-plate flow chambers have not been characterized for dynamic fluid flow experiments. We use a dimensionless ratio h/λv, in determining the exact magnitude of the dynamic wall shear stress, with its oscillating components scaled by a shear factor T. It is shown that, in order to expose cells to predictable levels of dynamic fluid shear stress, two conditions have to be met: (1) h/λv<2, where h is the distance between the plates and λv is the viscous penetration depth; and (2) f0<fc/m, where the critical frequency fc is the upper threshold for this flow regime, m is the highest harmonic mode of the flow, and f0 is the fundamental frequency of fluid flow.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-167
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number1
Early online date4 Jun 2004
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


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