(Dr. Paul Neitzel, advisor)
"Numerical Study of a Navier-Stokes Flow through a Fibrous Porous Medium"
In order to optimize the culture conditions for cartilage grown within a bioreactor, knowledge of the flow of culture medium within the fibrous porous scaffold is desired. Growth factors such as extracellular matrix production depend strongly on the flow conditions experienced by the growing tissue, particularly the shear-stress. Previous experiments by Casiano (2000) and Stokes-flow computations by Serrat (2001) have yielded results that are not in agreement with one another.
The goal of our work is to simulate the behavior of such a flow in models of fibrous medium, including the effect of inertia. By using a finite-difference solver of the Navier-Stokes equations according to the traditional model of Darcy-Forchheimer, we calculate microscopic and local speed and pressure fields within a complex fibrous medium.
The velocity and shear-stress fields are computed. These are then compared
with results from a model system used in the prior experimental and numerical
studies mentioned above.