Peristaltic flow in the glymphatic system

Francesco Romanò, Vinod Suresh, Peter A. Galie, James B. Grotberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The flow inside the perivascular space (PVS) is modeled using a first-principles approach in order to investigate how the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) enters the brain through a permeable layer of glial cells. Lubrication theory is employed to deal with the flow in the thin annular gap of the perivascular space between an impermeable artery and the brain tissue. The artery has an imposed peristaltic deformation and the deformable brain tissue is modeled by means of an elastic Hooke’s law. The perivascular flow model is solved numerically, discovering that the peristaltic wave induces a steady streaming to/from the brain which strongly depends on the rigidity and the permeability of the brain tissue. A detailed quantification of the through flow across the glial boundary is obtained for a large parameter space of physiologically relevant conditions. The parameters include the elasticity and permeability of the brain, the curvature of the artery, its length and the amplitude of the peristaltic wave. A steady streaming component of the through flow due to the peristaltic wave is characterized by an in-depth physical analysis and the velocity across the glial layer is found to flow from and to the PVS, depending on the elasticity and permeability of the brain. The through CSF flow velocity is quantified to be of the order of micrometers per seconds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21065
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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