FLUIDS > Biofluids

Human circulatory system – This study began around 2008, with the collaboration of the cardiology team of Vila Nova de Gaia Hospital. It is focused on the left coronary arteria, and the effects of geometry, blood rheology, and pulsatile flow were isolated and analyzed. Experimental techniques were launched to enable the analysis of the flow field using particle image velocimetry (PIV) and, simultaneously, numerical codes were developed and validated by the experimental results. We proceeded to the study of arteries with stenoses. The change in the flow field, and the effects on the wall shear stresses, were analyzed, both experimentally and numerically.

Afterwards, it was possible to analyze, after replica, images of coronary arteries of patients of the Vila Nova de Gaia Hospital. With this analysis, it was created a tool which has potential to predict the evolution of a stenosis starting from the assumption that the field of cutaneous stresses near the walls of the artery has a strong influence on the appearance and development of areas with arteriosclerosis.

Biofilms in medical devices – Biofilms are agglomerations of microorganisms embedded in a matrix of EPS. This structure provides to the microorganisms a higher resistance against chemical and mechanical removal processes, increasing their antibiotic resistance. Cleaning of catheters/micro channels is a crucial operation. We seek new solutions to prevent cell adhesion and biofilms development, and infection risk reduction techniques. Devices to study biofilms, organs-on-a-chip and cell communities are also under development.

Food rheology – Studies of cheese with DOP (protected designation of origin) are under development. This line of research is in collaboration with Prof. Clara A. Tovar (University of Vigo, Spain) with special focus in Afuega’l Pitu (DOP) cheese.

Complex fluid dynamics around microbots prototypes: – Studies on 3D fluid flow around microscale vehicles (microbots) moving through blood vessel analogues to characterize their hydrodynamics and provide guidelines for use in human circulatory system are foreseen. This project opened collaborations with  companies manufacturing 3D printed microdevices favoring the international networking and participation in H2020 projects. Two research projects relating with this topic have already been founded since 2014.