Wave propagation in a viscoelastic tube filled with viscous fluid is addressed. We show that the dissipative Navier–Stokes equations can asymptotically be reduced to a pair of nonlinearly coupled complex Ginzburg–Landau equations. Modulational instability is then investigated analytically and numerically. The instability domain, using the growth rate, is shown to be importantly dependent on the vessel relative stiffness and fluid viscosity. A comprehensive analysis is proposed to that effect, which is confirmed by direct numerical simulations. Dissipative trains of impulses are found as the main manifestation of modulational instability and results are recorded for some hemodynamic factors such as the pressure, velocity and vessel cross-section.
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