An artificial model for studying fluid dynamics in the obstructed and stented ureter.
Carugo D., Elmahdy M., Zhao X., Drake MJ., Zhang X., Clavica F.
Fluid dynamics in the obstructed and stented ureter represents a non-trivial subject of investigation since, after stent placement, the urine can flow either through the stent lumen or in the extra-luminal space located between the stent wall and the ureteric inner wall. Fluid dynamic investigations can help understanding the phenomena behind stent failure (e.g. stent occlusions due to bacterial colonization and encrustations), which may cause kidney damage due to the associated high pressures generated in the renal pelvis. In this work a microfluidic-based transparent device (ureter model, UM) has been developed to simulate the fluid dynamic environment in a stented ureter. UM geometry has been designed from measurements on pig ureters. Pressure in the renal pelvis compartment has been measured against three variables: fluid viscosity (μ), volumetric flow rate (Q) and level of obstruction (OB%). The measurements allowed a quantification of the critical combination of μ, Q and OB% values which may lead to critical pressure levels in the kidney. Moreover, an example showing the possibility of applying particle image velocimetry (PIV) technology to the developed microfluidic device is provided.