Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Physiol., 19 July 2012 | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2012.00266

An integrated fluid-chemical model toward modeling the formation of intra-luminal thrombus in abdominal aortic aneurysms

Jacopo Biasetti1*, Pier Giorgio Spazzini2, Jesper Swedenborg3 and T. Christian Gasser1
  • 1 Department of Solid Mechanics, School of Engineering Sciences, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2 Mechanics Division, National Institute of Metrological Research, Turin, Italy
  • 3 Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAAs) are frequently characterized by the presence of an Intra-Luminal Thrombus (ILT) known to influence their evolution biochemically and biomechanically. The ILT progression mechanism is still unclear and little is known regarding the impact of the chemical species transported by blood flow on this mechanism. Chemical agonists and antagonists of platelets activation, aggregation, and adhesion and the proteins involved in the coagulation cascade (CC) may play an important role in ILT development. Starting from this assumption, the evolution of chemical species involved in the CC, their relation to coherent vortical structures (VSs) and their possible effect on ILT evolution have been studied. To this end a fluid-chemical model that simulates the CC through a series of convection-diffusion-reaction (CDR) equations has been developed. The model involves plasma-phase and surface-bound enzymes and zymogens, and includes both plasma-phase and membrane-phase reactions. Blood is modeled as a non-Newtonian incompressible fluid. VSs convect thrombin in the domain and lead to the high concentration observed in the distal portion of the AAA. This finding is in line with the clinical observations showing that the thickest ILT is usually seen in the distal AAA region. The proposed model, due to its ability to couple the fluid and chemical domains, provides an integrated mechanochemical picture that potentially could help unveil mechanisms of ILT formation and development.

Keywords: abdominal aortic aneurysm, coagulation cascade, computational fluid dynamics, convection-diffusion-reaction equations, intra-luminal thrombus, platelets, thrombin, vortical structures

Citation: Biasetti J, Spazzini PG, Swedenborg J and Gasser TC (2012) An integrated fluid-chemical model toward modeling the formation of intra-luminal thrombus in abdominal aortic aneurysms. Front. Physio. 3:266. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2012.00266

Received: 31 March 2012; Accepted: 25 June 2012;
Published online: 20 July 2012.

Edited by:

Rajat Mittal, Johns Hopkins University, USA

Reviewed by:

Haoxiang Luo, Vanderbilt University, USA
Daniel Goldman, The University of Western Ontario, Canada

Copyright: © 2012 Biasetti, Spazzini, Swedenborg and Gasser. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Jacopo Biasetti, Department of Solid Mechanics, School of Engineering Sciences, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Osquars Backe 1, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden. e-mail: biasetti@kth.se

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