The Rheology of the Carotid Sinus: A Path Toward Bioinspired Intervention

Andrew Iskander, Coskun Bilgi, Rotem Naftalovich, Ilker Hacihaliloglu, Tolga Berkman, Daniel Naftalovich, Niema Pahlevan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The association between blood viscosity and pathological conditions involving a number of organ systems is well known. However, how the body measures and maintains appropriate blood viscosity is not well-described. The literature endorsing the function of the carotid sinus as a site of baroreception can be traced back to some of the earliest descriptions of digital pressure on the neck producing a drop in blood delivery to the brain. For the last 30 years, improved computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations of blood flow within the carotid sinus have demonstrated a more nuanced understanding of the changes in the region as it relates to changes in conventional metrics of cardiovascular function, including blood pressure. We suggest that the unique flow patterns within the carotid sinus may make it an ideal site to transduce flow data that can, in turn, enable real-time measurement of blood viscosity. The recent characterization of the PIEZO receptor family in the sinus vessel wall may provide a biological basis for this characterization. When coupled with other biomarkers of cardiovascular performance and descriptions of the blood rheology unique to the sinus region, this represents a novel venue for bioinspired design that may enable end-users to manipulate and optimize blood flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number678048
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
StatePublished - Jun 10 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Histology
  • Biomedical Engineering


  • PIEZO receptor
  • baroreceptor
  • blood flow
  • carotid sinus
  • viscosity


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