Multiscale imaging and computational modeling of blood flow in the tumor vasculature

Eugene Kim, Spyros Stamatelos, Jana Cebulla, Zaver M. Bhujwalla, Aleksander S. Popel, Arvind P. Pathak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The evolution in our understanding of tumor angiogenesis has been the result of pioneering imaging and computational modeling studies spanning the endothelial cell, microvasculature and tissue levels. Many of these primary data on the tumor vasculature are in the form of images from pre-clinical tumor models that provide a wealth of qualitative and quantitative information in many dimensions and across different spatial scales. However, until recently, the visualization of changes in the tumor vasculature across spatial scales remained a challenge due to a lack of techniques for integrating micro- and macroscopic imaging data. Furthermore, the paucity of three-dimensional (3-D) tumor vascular data in conjunction with the challenges in obtaining such data from patients presents a serious hurdle for the development and validation of predictive, multiscale computational models of tumor angiogenesis. In this review, we discuss the development of multiscale models of tumor angiogenesis, new imaging techniques capable of reproducing the 3-D tumor vascular architecture with high fidelity, and the emergence of "image-based models" of tumor blood flow and molecular transport. Collectively, these developments are helping us gain a fundamental understanding of the cellular and molecular regulation of tumor angiogenesis that will benefit the development of new cancer therapies. Eventually, we expect this exciting integration of multiscale imaging and mathematical modeling to have widespread application beyond the tumor vasculature to other diseases involving a pathological vasculature, such as stroke and spinal cord injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2425-2441
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of biomedical engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Angiogenesis
  • Cancer
  • Computational modeling
  • Imaging
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Multiscale
  • Systems biology
  • Tumor
  • Tumor microenvironment
  • Vasculature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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