Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - 11:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Many biological soft tissues exhibit complex interactions between passive biophysical or biomechanical mechanisms, and active physiological responses. These interactions affect the ability of the tissue to remodel in order to maintain homeostasis, or govern alterations in tissue properties with aging or disease. In tissue engineering applications, such interactions also influence the relationship between design parameters and functional outcomes. In this talk, I will discuss two mathematical modeling problems in this general area. The first problem addresses biosynthesis and linking of articular cartilage extracellular matrix in cell-seeded scaffolds. A mixture approach is employed to, inherently, capture effects of evolving porosity in the tissue-engineered construct. We develop a hybrid model in which cells are represented, individually, as inclusions within a continuum reaction-diffusion model formulated on a representative domain. The second problem addresses structural remodeling of cardiovascular vessel walls in the presence of pulmonary hypertension (PH). As PH advances, the relative composition of collagen, elastin and smooth muscle cells in the cardiovascular network becomes altered. The ensuing wall stiffening increases blood pressure which, in turn, can induce further vessel wall remodeling. Yet, the manner in which these alterations occur is not well understood. I will discuss structural continuum mechanics models that incorporate PH-induced remodeling of the vessel wall into 1D fluid-structure models of pulmonary cardiovascular networks. A Holzapfel-Gasser-Ogden (HGO)-type hyperelastic constitutive law for combined bending, inflation, extension and torsion of a nonlinear elastic tube is employed. Specifically, we are interested in formulating new, nonlinear relations between blood pressure and vessel wall cross-sectional area that reflect structural alterations with advancing PH.