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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.207 SNIP: 0.376 CiteScore™: 0.79

ISSN Print: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.v39.i4.50
pages 319-336

Computational Modeling of Airway and Pulmonary Vascular Structure and Function: Development of a "Lung Physiome"

Merryn Tawhai
University of Auckland
A. R. Clark
Auckland Bioengineering Institute, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
G. M. Donovan
Department of Mathematics, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
K. S. Burrowes
Oxford University Computing Laboratory, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

ABSTRACT

Computational models of lung structure and function necessarily span multiple spatial and temporal scales, i.e., dynamic molecular interactions give rise to whole organ function, and the link between these scales cannot be fully understood if only molecular or organ-level function is considered. Here, we review progress in constructing multiscale finite element models of lung structure and function that are aimed at providing a computational framework for bridging the spatial scales from molecular to whole organ. These include structural models of the intact lung, embedded models of the pulmonary airways that couple to model lung tissue, and models of the pulmonary vasculature that account for distinct structural differences at the extra- and intra-acinar levels. Biophysically based functional models for tissue deformation, pulmonary blood flow, and airway bronchoconstriction are also described. The development of these advanced multiscale models has led to a better understanding of complex physiological mechanisms that govern regional lung perfusion and emergent heterogeneity during bronchoconstriction.


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