Three-dimensional numerical simulation of blood flow in mouse aortic arch around atherosclerotic plaques

Pauline Assemat, James A. Armitage, Karen K. Siu, Karla G. Contreras, Anthony M. Dart, Jaye P. Chin-Dusting, Kerry Hourigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Atherosclerosis is a progressive disease, involving the build-up of lipid streaks in artery walls, leading to plaques. Understanding the development of atherosclerosis and plaque vulnerability is critically important since plaque rupture can result in heart attack or stroke. Plaques can be divided into two distinct types: those likely to rupture (vulnerable) or less likely to rupture (stable). In the last decade, researchers have been interested in studying the influence of the mechanical effects (blood shear stress, pressure forces and
structural stress) on the plaque formation, progression and rupture processes but no general agreement has been found. The purpose of the present work is to include more realistic conditions for the numerical calculations of the blood flow by implementing real geometries
with plaques in the numerical model. Hemodynamical parameters are studied in both
diseased and healthy configurations. The healthy configuration is obtained by removing
numerically the plaques from three dimensional geometries obtained by micro-computed
tomography. A new hemodynamical parameter is also introduced to relate the location of
plaques to the characteristics of the flow in the healthy configuration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4175 - 4185
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Mathematical Modelling
Issue number17-18
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Atherosclerotic plaques
  • Plaque progression
  • Oscillating flow
  • Mechanical effects
  • Wall shear stress
  • Pressure gradient

Cite this