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WIREs Syst Biol Med
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Modeling microcirculatory blood flow: current state and future perspectives

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Microvascular blood flow determines a number of important physiological processes of an organism in health and disease. Therefore, a detailed understanding of microvascular blood flow would significantly advance biophysical and biomedical research and its applications. Current developments in modeling of microcirculatory blood flow already allow to go beyond available experimental measurements and have a large potential to elucidate blood flow behavior in normal and diseased microvascular networks. There exist detailed models of blood flow on a single cell level as well as simplified models of the flow through microcirculatory networks, which are reviewed and discussed here. The combination of these models provides promising prospects for better understanding of blood flow behavior and transport properties locally as well as globally within large microvascular networks. WIREs Syst Biol Med 2016, 8:157–168. doi: 10.1002/wsbm.1326 This article is categorized under: Models of Systems Properties and Processes > Mechanistic Models
Microvascular cast of hamster cremaster muscle. The area shown is about 1.5 mm × 1.5 mm. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2005 Annual Reviews)
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Whole‐network perfusion map: (a) detailed perfusion map of the whole vascular network color‐coded by perfusion velocity (mm/s); (b) and (c) insets illustrate a magnified 3D perspective of different regions of vasculature color‐coded by perfusion velocity. Scale bars: (a) 1 mm, (b, c) 200 µm. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2014 Elsevier)
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A simulation snapshot of a bifurcation. The diameter of the parent vessel is 20 µm, while the diameters of two daughter vessels are 16.5 µm. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2015 The Public Library of Science (PLOS))
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A simulation snapshot of RBCs and a marginated WBC at a hematocrit of 30%. The vessel diameter is 20 µm and the flow is from the left to the right. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2014 Royal Society of Chemistry)
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Relative apparent viscosity (ratio between the apparent viscosity and blood‐plasma viscosity) in vivo (thick lines) and in vitro (thin lines) for different vessel diameters and discharge hematocrits HD. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2005 American Physiological Society)
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