A nonlinear multi-scale model for blood circulation in a realistic vascular system
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionRoyal Society Open Science. 2021, 8 (12), 201949. 10.1098/rsos.201949
In the last decade, numerical models have become an increasingly important tool in biological and medical science. Numerical simulations contribute to a deeper understanding of physiology and are a powerful tool for better diagnostics and treatment. In this paper, a nonlinear multi-scale model framework is developed for blood flow distribution in the full vascular system of an organ. We couple a quasi one-dimensional vascular graph model to represent blood flow in larger vessels and a porous media model to describe flow in smaller vessels and capillary bed. The vascular model is based on Poiseuille’s Law, with pressure correction by elasticity and pressure drop estimation at vessels' junctions. The porous capillary bed is modelled as a two-compartment domain (artery and venous) using Darcy’s Law. The fluid exchange between the artery and venous capillary bed compartments is defined as blood perfusion. The numerical experiments show that the proposed model for blood circulation: (i) is closely dependent on the structure and parameters of both the larger vessels and of the capillary bed, and (ii) provides a realistic blood circulation in the organ. The advantage of the proposed model is that it is complex enough to reliably capture the main underlying physiological function, yet highly flexible as it offers the possibility of incorporating various local effects. Furthermore, the numerical implementation of the model is straightforward and allows for simulations on a regular desktop computer.