Theoretical models for coronary vascular biomechanics: Progress & challenges

Sarah L. Waters*, Jordi Alastruey, Daniel A. Beard, Peter H. M. Bovendeerd, Peter F. Davies, Girija Jayaraman, Oliver E. Jensen, Jack Lee, Kim H. Parker, Aleksander S. Popel, Timothy W. Secomb, Maria Siebes, Spencer J. Sherwin, Rebecca J. Shipley, Nicolas P. Smith, Frans N. van de Vosse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A key aim of the cardiac Physiome Project is to develop theoretical models to simulate the functional behaviour of the heart under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Heart function is critically dependent on the delivery of an adequate blood supply to the myocardium via the coronary vasculature. Key to this critical function of the coronary vasculature is system dynamics that emerge via the interactions of the numerous constituent components at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Here, we focus on several components for which theoretical approaches can be applied, including vascular structure and mechanics, blood flow and mass transport, flow regulation, angiogenesis and vascular remodelling, and vascular cellular mechanics. For each component, we summarise the current state of the art in model development, and discuss areas requiring further research. We highlight the major challenges associated with integrating the component models to develop a computational tool that can ultimately be used to simulate the responses of the coronary vascular system to changing demands and to diseases and therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-76
JournalProgress in Biophysics & Molecular Biology
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Vascular structure
  • Mechanics
  • Haemodynamics
  • Mass transport
  • Regulation
  • Adaptation
  • Mathematical and computational model
  • Multi-scale
  • Cellular mechanics
  • Integration

Cite this