A computational study of the effect of capillary network anastomoses and tortuosity on oxygen transport

Daniel Goldman, Aleksander S. Popel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of capillary network anastomoses and tortuosity on oxygen transport in skeletal muscle, as well as the importance of muscle fibers in determining the arrangement of parallel capillaries. Countercurrent flow and random capillary blockage (e.g. by white blood cells) were also studied. A general computational model was constructed to simulate oxygen transport from a network of blood vessels within a rectangular volume of tissue. A geometric model of the capillary network structure, based on hexagonally packed muscle fibers, was constructed to produce networks of straight unbranched capillaries, capillaries with anastomoses, and capillaries with tortuosity, in order to examine the effects of these geometric properties. Quantities examined included the tissue oxygen tension and the capillary oxyhemoglobin saturation. The computational model included a two-phase simulation of blood flow. Appropriate parameters were chosen for working hamster cheek-pouch retractor muscle. Our calculations showed that the muscle-fiber geometry was important in reducing oxygen transport heterogeneity, as was countercurrent flow. Tortuosity was found to increase tissue oxygenation, especially when combined with anastomoses. In the absence of tortuosity, anastomoses had little effect on oxygen transport under normal conditions, but significantly improved transport when vessel blockages were present. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-194
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume206
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 21 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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