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Understanding aspects of cardiovascular physiology and disease via a multi-physics modelling methodology

Coccarelli, Alberto 2018. Understanding aspects of cardiovascular physiology and disease via a multi-physics modelling methodology. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The overall aim of this study is to develop and analyse the performance of a multiscale framework involving arterial wall dynamics and blood flow in realistic vascular architectures that can facilitate the understanding of the onset and progression of vascular disease. This comprehensive modelling framework will also allow the virtual testing and ultimately inform the design of novel pharmacological probes. To achieve this aim, we need to deliver an arterial model able to account for i) the wall contractility triggered by biochemical processes at the cellular level ii) the interaction between the flow and vessel deformation, and iii) the transport phenomena along the arterial systemic circulation. For each problem component, a solution procedure has been proposed and validated against benchmark theoretical results and experimental measurements. First we characterised the structural behaviour of the arterial media layer and its response to the active contractile activity modulated by the smooth muscle Ca2+ dynamics. In this study, we modelled the activation, modulation and inhibition of the smooth muscle contraction by pharmacological interventions. Subsequently we have focused on the fluid structure interaction between wall mechanics and hemodynamics. This work required coupling a traditional incompressible arterial fluid model to a solid boundary, which represents the elastic arterial wall. The methodology proposed has been validated against a set of classical benchmark cases and exhibits improved numerical efficiency and significant memory savings. The third component of the work focuses on modelling transport and diffusion phenomena along the arterial branching network and within surrounding tissues. For the purpose of this study, a network of vessels was embedded within a solid tissue model of the human body. This model was able to predict how a property (in this application energy,but equivalently drug concentrations) is transported and diffused from the blood vessels to the tissues.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Medicine
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 May 2018
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2019 02:35

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