Computational Models of the Pulmonary Circulation: Insights and the Move towards Clinically Directed Studies

PVRI Member Authors: Merryn Tawhai

Abstract

Biophysically-based computational models provide a tool for integrating and explaining experimental data, observations, and hypotheses. Computational models of the pulmonary circulation have evolved from minimal and efficient constructs that have been used to study individual mechanisms that contribute to lung perfusion, to sophisticated multi-scale and -physics structure-based models that predict integrated structure-function relationships within a heterogeneous organ. This review considers the utility of computational models in providing new insights into the function of the pulmonary circulation, and their application in clinically motivated studies. We review mathematical and computational models of the pulmonary circulation based on their application; we begin with models that seek to answer questions in basic science and physiology and progress to models that aim to have clinical application. In looking forward, we discuss the relative merits and clinical relevance of computational models: what important features are still lacking; and how these models may ultimately be applied to further increasing our understanding of the mechanisms occurring in disease of the pulmonary circulation. 

Published in:

Pulmonary Circulation Vol 1: No 2 cover image

June 2011

Pulmonary Circulation Vol 1: No 2

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