Simulation of blood microcirculation and its coupling to biochemical signaling

Abstract : Blood flow in microcirculation is vital for oxygen, carbon dioxide and nutrients transport. Most of blood cells are red blood cells (RBCs), so that by blood flow we mean flow of a suspension of RBCs. For long time blood flow has been mainly considered as a passive phenomenon, in which RBCs are viewed as passive carriers of oxygen. The modern view is completely different: blood flow is more active than we thought. The RBCs as well as vascular endothelial cells covering the internal walls of blood vessels are involved in a number of biochemical signaling processes that are triggered by shear stress eliciting a number of biochemical events, and ultimately resulting into vasomotor regulation without participation of the nerve system. For example, RBCs do not only carry oxygen but also ATP (adenosine triphosphate) , the release of which occurs thanks to changes of RBC membrane protein conformations caused by shear stress. Released ATP reacts with some endothelial membrane receptors leading to vasodilation. This thesis is devoted to blood flow and its coupling to biochemical signaling. More precisely, we investigate i) the dynamics of RBCs, ii) the advection diffusion of chemicals in blood flow and the role of iii) the geometry of vessel networks, in the mentioned signaling processes in microcirculations. Firstly, we study the RBC dynamics in a pipe flow with realistic viscosity contrast values, where a link between shape dynamics and rheology is established. Secondly, we develop an advection-diffusion solver that can handle general moving curved boundaries based on lattice-Boltzmann method (LBM); we then implement it for the study of the problem of ATP release from RBCs under shear flow. Membrane tension and deformation induced by shear stress together with vessel network geometry contribute to ATP release. Finally we demonstrate the capability of applying our model and our numerical tool to the complete problem of blood under flow involving ATP release from RBCs and endothelial calcium signaling as a preliminary step to the ambitious task of mechano-involved local regulation events in microcirculation.
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Hengdi Zhang. Simulation of blood microcirculation and its coupling to biochemical signaling. Biomechanics [physics.med-ph]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAY072⟩. ⟨tel-02155236⟩

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