The confounding effects of hemodynamics on atherosclerosis progression

Project: Research


  • Amirhossein Arzani (PI)


Atherosclerosis is the major form of cardiovascular disease and the leading cause of death in the US with a total annual financial cost of $329 billion. Wall shear stress (WSS) is arguably the most important parameter in biomechanics of atherosclerosis. It acts as a link between the fluid mechanics of blood flow and the biology of atherosclerosis. Traditionally, WSS is used to quantify the frictional force on the endothelial cells. However, WSS also provides valuable information about near-wall transport. Biologically, near-wall transport of certain biochemicals influences atherosclerosis progression. From a fluid mechanics view, cardiovascular mass transport problems have very thin concentration boundary layers where the majority of mass transfer occurs next to the wall. Recently, the PI has introduced the concept of Lagrangian WSS structures. These structures control near-wall transport and could be used to predict surface concentration distribution. It is hypothesized that these structures play an important role in near-wall localization of different biochemicals involved in atherosclerosis, albeit in a complex and biochemical-specific fashion. This research plans to uncover the mysterious and often overlooked role that WSS plays in the localization of biochemicals near the vessel wall in coronary and carotid arteries. First, mass transport of prominent biochemicals in atherosclerosis will be studied using continuum transport models and Lagrangian WSS structures. Highly resolved second order meshes and high-performance computing will allow an accurate solution of numerically challenging cardiovascular mass transport problems. Finally, using longitudinal clinical data, Lagrangian WSS structures will be correlated to atherosclerosis progression in coronary arteries.
Award amount$153,995.00
Award date01/01/2019
Program typeAHA Institutional Research Enhancement Award (AIRE
Award ID19AIREA34430058
Effective start/end date01/01/201912/31/2020