Dr. Francis Loth

Dr. Francis Loth

Title: F. Theodore Harrington Professor
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Office: ASEC 57N
Phone: 330-972-6820


Professor Loth began his education in Aerospace Engineering studying at WVU and the University of Cincinnati. He then completed a specialization in turbomachinery at the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Belgium. After this, he switched topics to biofluids, the fluid dynamics of biological flows. He went to study biofliuds at the Georgia Institute of Technology for his PhD. In 1993, he was awarded the NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship and spent this year doing biofliuds research in France at the University of Aix-Marseille. He then worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the BME Department at The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Loth joined the ME faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1996 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2002. He moved to the University of Akron in 2008 as an Associate Professor and F. Theodore Harrington Endowed Chair.

Research Accomplishments

My area of research is fluid dynamics of biological flows. This field examines the importance of fluid dynamics in the development, progression, and diagnosis of disease. During the past two decades, fluid mechanics have become appreciated by medical and biological investigators as a key factor in both the cause of arterial disease and the regulation of cellular biology in both normal and diseased arteries. The ability to model biological flow-systems experimentally and numerically has become an important component of fundamental research on vascular disease.

My first area of research examines the contribution of blood flow patterns in the development and progression of arterial disease. My laboratory has developed software tools to extract the three-dimensional geometry of a blood vessel from medical images taken non-invasively. This geometric information is then used to create numerical and experimental models to examine the blood flow patterns in greater detail than is possible with medical imaging. The objective of the proposed research is to determine the role of fluid and solid stresses in the development of vessel disease in carotid bifurcations, vascular grafts, and arteriovenous (AV) dialysis grafts.

My second research area is in the study of craniospinal disorders related the motion of cerebrospinal fluid. Based on non-invasive measurements inside the human body of geometry and motion, engineers can help understand pathology if they can describe the physics that brought about the observed motion. Simulation of the cerebrospinal fluid motion may allow physicians to have predictions about hydrodynamic parameters such as pressure drop before and after surgical procedures.


  1. B.A. Martin, F. Loth, "The influence of coughing on cerebrospinal fluid pressure in an in vitro syringomyelia model with spinal subarachnoid space stenosis" Cerebrospinal Fluid Research, 2009, Dec 31;6:17.
  2. B.A. Martin, R. Labuda, T.J. Royston, J.N. Oshinski, B. Iskandar, F. Loth, "Spinal Canal Pressure Measurements in an In Vitro Spinal Stenosis Model: Implications on Syringomyelia Theories" Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, doi:10.1115/1.4000089, 2009.
  3. W. Kalata, B.A. Martin, F. Loth, T.J. Royston, J.N. Oshinski, M. Jerosch-Herold, “MR Measurement of Cerebrospinal Fluid Wave Speed in the Spinal Subarachnoid Space,” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 56, No. 6, pp. 1765-8, June 2009.
  4. Ford, M.D., Nikolov, H.N., Milner, J.S., Lownie, S.P., Demont, E.M., Kalata, W., Loth, F., Holdsworth, D.W., and Steinman, D.A., 2008, "PIV-Measured Versus Cfd-Predicted Flow Dynamics in Anatomically Realistic Cerebral Aneurysm Models," Vol. 130, No. 2, pp. 021015, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, April 2008.
  5. S.E. Lee, S.W. Lee, P.F. Fischer, H.S. Bassiouny, F. Loth, “Direct numerical simulation of transitional flow in a stenosed carotid bifurcation,” Vol. 41, No. 11, pp. 2551-61, Journal of Biomechanics, 2008.
  6. F. Loth, P.F. Fischer, H.S. Bassiouny, “Blood Flow in Anastomoses,” Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 50, pp. 367-393, Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, January 2008.
  7. P.F. Fischer, F. Loth, S.E. Lee, S.W. Lee, D.S. Smith, H.S. Bassiouny, “Simulation of High-Reynolds Number Vascular Flows,” Vol. 196, pp. 3049-3060, International Journal Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering (CMAME), June 2007.
  8. S.W. Lee, D.S. Smith, F. Loth, P.F. Fischer, H.S. Bassiouny, "Experimental and Numerical Simulation of Transitional Flow in a Blood Vessel Junction," Vol. 51, No. 1, pp. 1-22, Numerical Heat Transfer: Part A, January, 2007.
  9. S.W. Lee, D.S. Smith, F. Loth, P.F. Fischer, H.S. Bassiouny, “Importance of flow division on transition to turbulence within an arteriovenous graft, Vol. 40, No. 5, pp. 981-992, Journal of Biomechanics, 2007.
  10. J.N. Oshinski, J.L. Curtin, F. Loth, “Mean-Average wall shear stress measurements in the common carotid artery,” Vol. 8, No 3, Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, July 2006.


Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology (1993); M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology (1990); Diploma, von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (1987); M.S., University of Cincinnati (1988); B.S., West Virginia University (1984)



  • 4600:301 Thermodynamics II
  • 4600:310 Fluid Mechanics I
  • 4600:484 Mechanical Engineering Laboratory - Gas Turbine and Supersonic Wind Tunnel


  • 4600:696 Bioheat & Mass Transfer
  • 4600:696 Experimental Biofluids
  • 4600:301 Thermodynamics II