A constitutive model for developing blood clots with various compositions and their nonlinear viscoelastic behavior

Thomas H. S. van Kempen*, Wouter P. Donders, Frans N. van de Vosse, Gerrit W. M. Peters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The mechanical properties determine to a large extent the functioning of a blood clot. These properties depend on the composition of the clot and have been related to many diseases. However, the various involved components and their complex interactions make it difficult at this stage to fully understand and predict properties as a function of the components. Therefore, in this study, a constitutive model is developed that describes the viscoelastic behavior of blood clots with various compositions. Hereto, clots are formed from whole blood, platelet-rich plasma and platelet-poor plasma to study the influence of red blood cells, platelets and fibrin, respectively. Rheological experiments are performed to probe the mechanical behavior of the clots during their formation. The nonlinear viscoelastic behavior of the mature clots is characterized using a large amplitude oscillatory shear deformation. The model is based on a generalized Maxwell model that accurately describes the results for the different rheological experiments by making the moduli and viscosities a function of time and the past and current deformation. Using the same model with different parameter values enables a description of clots with different compositions. A sensitivity analysis is applied to study the influence of parameter variations on the model output. The relative simplicity and flexibility make the model suitable for numerical simulations of blood clots and other materials showing similar behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-291
JournalBiomechanics and modeling in mechanobiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • Blood clotting
  • Mechanical modeling
  • Large amplitude oscillatory shear (LAOS)
  • Sensitivity analysis

Cite this