Irrigant flow in the root canal: experimental validation of an unsteady Computational Fluid Dynamics model using high-speed imaging

C. Boutsioukis, C. Boutsioukis, B. Verhaagen, Michel Versluis, E. Kastrinakis, L.W.M. van der Sluis

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Aim  To compare the results of a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation of the irrigant flow within a prepared root canal, during final irrigation with a syringe and a needle, with experimental high-speed visualizations and theoretical calculations of an identical geometry and to evaluate the effect of off-centre positioning of the needle inside the root canal. Methodology  A CFD model was created to simulate irrigant flow from a side-vented needle inside a prepared root canal. Calculations were carried out for four different positions of the needle inside a prepared root canal. An identical root canal model was made from poly-dimethyl-siloxane (PDMS). High-speed imaging of the flow seeded with particles and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) were combined to obtain the velocity field inside the root canal experimentally. Computational, theoretical and experimental results were compared to assess the validity of the computational model. Results  Comparison between CFD computations and experiments revealed good agreement in the velocity magnitude and vortex location and size. Small lateral displacements of the needle inside the canal had a limited effect on the flow field. Conclusions  High-speed imaging experiments together with PIV of the flow inside a simulated root canal showed a good agreement with the CFD model, even though the flow was unsteady. Therefore, the CFD model is able to predict reliably the flow in similar domains
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)393-403
Number of pages11
JournalInternational endodontic journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Particle Image Velocimetry
  • High-speed imaging
  • Needle
  • Irrigation
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • IR-79282
  • METIS-265990

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