Overview of the Approach
Coronary heart disease accounts for approximately half of all cardiovascular disease. To elucidate the mechanisms governing coronary blood flow in health and disease requires an understanding of the relationship between the structure of the coronary vasculature and its function. The fact that this system exhibits distinct characteristics over multiple scales - spanning over capillaries to epicardial vessels (micro- to millimetres) and wave phenomena to structural adaptation (milliseconds to days) - makes quantitative biophysical modelling of coronary haemodynamics challenging.
Our guiding philosophy is that the model should fit the application. Complex models may capture richer details of the system's physiological behaviour, at the expense of requiring a greater amount of data to parameterise. Reduced models on the other hand, can be characterised exhaustively with a scope for personalisation within routine clinical workflow.
Take a walk through the four major areas we research by following these links:
Our integrative whole organ perfusion model is useful for studying flow-contraction coupling in a regionally-varying manner. Such a model can be used to study for example the coronary wave mechanics, or the effect of regional disease conditions on flow. In addition virtual imaging of these models based on contrast agent transport simulations can be performed to gain a better understanding of the patient image formation process in pathophysiology.
The reduced coronary models address the need for rapid personalisation strategies required in clinical translation. Through meta modelling, the intput-output relationship of such a model can be comprehensively characterised. In addition, with sufficient data the macroscopic parameters can be linked with the microstructure, revealing their correspondence with the underlying physiology.