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Ann Biomed Eng. 2011 Nov;39(11):2669-82. doi: 10.1007/s10439-011-0363-9. Epub 2011 Aug 2.

Ensuring congruency in multiscale modeling: towards linking agent based and continuum biomechanical models of arterial adaptation.

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1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, USA.

Abstract

There is a need to develop multiscale models of vascular adaptations to understand tissue-level manifestations of cellular level mechanisms. Continuum-based biomechanical models are well suited for relating blood pressures and flows to stress-mediated changes in geometry and properties, but less so for describing underlying mechanobiological processes. Discrete stochastic agent-based models are well suited for representing biological processes at a cellular level, but not for describing tissue-level mechanical changes. We present here a conceptually new approach to facilitate the coupling of continuum and agent-based models. Because of ubiquitous limitations in both the tissue- and cell-level data from which one derives constitutive relations for continuum models and rule-sets for agent-based models, we suggest that model verification should enforce congruency across scales. That is, multiscale model parameters initially determined from data sets representing different scales should be refined, when possible, to ensure that common outputs are consistent. Potential advantages of this approach are illustrated by comparing simulated aortic responses to a sustained increase in blood pressure predicted by continuum and agent-based models both before and after instituting a genetic algorithm to refine 16 objectively bounded model parameters. We show that congruency-based parameter refinement not only yielded increased consistency across scales, it also yielded predictions that are closer to in vivo observations.

PMID:
21809144
PMCID:
PMC3207323
DOI:
10.1007/s10439-011-0363-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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