A 2D microfluidic model of cerebrospinal fluid flow in periarterial spaces



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The glymphatic system is a pathway for metabolic waste clearance in the brain. In a crucial step of this pathway, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) enters the brain via periarterial spaces. Previous studies in live mice have found that peristaltic waves in the arterial wall, driven by pulsatile blood flow, can induce the flow of CSF in the surrounding periarterial space. However, the exact mechanism driving CSF flow remains unclear among multiple possible contributing mechanisms. We developed a microfluidic device that serves as a two-dimensional model of the arterial wall interface between the periarterial space and inner artery to study the flow of peristaltically driven CSF. With this microfluidic model, we tested pulsation frequencies motivated by human, rat, and mouse heart rates and observed trends in both the oscillatory and bulk components of the model CSF flow. We additionally observed a relationship between the approximate membrane waveform and the fluid motion in the model periarterial space. These observations contribute new insight to the understanding of CSF flow mechanisms.



Fluid mechanics, Glymphatic system, Microfluidics