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In this paper, we are concerned with the simulation of blood flow in microvascular networks and the surrounding tissue. To reduce the computational complexity of this issue, the network structures are modeled by a one-dimensional graph, whose location in space is determined by the centerlines of the three-dimensional vessels. The surrounding tissue is considered as a homogeneous porous medium. Darcy's equation is used to simulate flow in the extra-vascular space, where the mass exchange with the blood vessels is accounted for by means of line source terms. However, this model reduction approach still causes high computational costs, in particular, when larger parts of an organ have to be simulated. This observation motivates the consideration of a further model reduction step. Thereby, we homogenize the fine scale structures of the microvascular networks resulting in a new hybrid approach modeling the fine scale structures as a heterogeneous porous medium and the flow in the larger vessels by one-dimensional flow equations. Both modeling approaches are compared with respect to mass fluxes and averaged pressures. The simulations have been performed on a microvascular network that has been extracted from the cortex of a rat brain.

Many biological and geological systems can be modeled as porous media with small inclusions. Vascularized tissue, roots embedded in soil or fractured rocks are examples of such systems. In these applications, tissue, soil or rocks are considered to be porous media, while blood vessels, roots or fractures form small inclusions. To model flow processes in thin inclusions, one-dimensional (1D) models of Darcy- or Poiseuille type have been used, whereas Darcy-equations of higher dimension have been considered for the flow processes within the porous matrix. A coupling between flow in the porous matrix and the inclusions can be achieved by setting suitable source terms for the corresponding models, where the source term of the higher-dimensional model is concentrated on the center lines of the inclusions. In this paper, we investigate an alternative coupling scheme. Here, the source term lives on the boundary of the inclusions. By doing so, we lift the dimension by one and thus increase the regularity of the solution. We show that this model can be derived from a full-dimensional model and the occurring modeling errors are estimated. Furthermore, we prove the well-posedness of the variational formulation and discuss the convergence behavior of standard finite element methods with respect to this model. Our theoretical results are confirmed by numerical tests. Finally, we demonstrate how the new coupling concept can be used to simulate stationary flow through a capillary network embedded in a biological tissue.

In this work, we introduce an algorithmic approach to generate microvascular networks starting from larger vessels that can be reconstructed without noticeable segmentation errors. Contrary to larger vessels, the reconstruction of fine-scale components of microvascular networks shows significant segmentation errors, and an accurate mapping is time and cost intense. Thus there is a need for fast and reliable reconstruction algorithms yielding surrogate networks having similar stochastic properties as the original ones. The microvascular networks are constructed in a marching way by adding vessels to the outlets of the vascular tree from the previous step. To optimise the structure of the vascular trees, we use Murray's law to determine the radii of the vessels and bifurcation angles. In each step, we compute the local gradient of the partial pressure of oxygen and adapt the orientation of the new vessels to this gradient. At the same time, we use the partial pressure of oxygen to check whether the considered tissue block is supplied sufficiently with oxygen. Computing the partial pressure of oxygen, we use a 3D-1D coupled model for blood flow and oxygen transport. To decrease the complexity of a fully coupled 3D model, we reduce the blood vessel network to a 1D graph structure and use a bi-directional coupling with the tissue which is described by a 3D homogeneous porous medium. The resulting surrogate networks are analysed with respect to morphological and physiological aspects. K E Y W O R D S 3D-1D coupled flow models, blood flow simulations, dimensionally reduced models, flows in porous media, oxygen transport, vascular growth

In this work, we introduce an algorithmic approach to generate microvascular networks starting from larger vessels that can be reconstructed without noticeable segmentation errors. Contrary to larger vessels, the reconstruction of fine-scale components of microvascular networks shows significant segmentation errors, and an accurate mapping is time and cost intense. Thus there is a need for fast and reliable reconstruction algorithms yielding surrogate networks having similar stochastic properties as the original ones. The microvascular networks are constructed in a marching way by adding vessels to the outlets of the vascular tree from the previous step. To optimise the structure of the vascular trees, we use Murray's law to determine the radii of the vessels and bifurcation angles. In each step, we compute the local gradient of the partial pressure of oxygen and adapt the orientation of the new vessels to this gradient. At the same time, we use the partial pressure of oxygen to check whether the considered tissue block is supplied sufficiently with oxygen. Computing the partial pressure of oxygen, we use a 3D-1D coupled model for blood flow and oxygen transport. To decrease the complexity of a fully coupled 3D model, we reduce the blood vessel network to a 1D graph structure and use a bi-directional coupling with the tissue which is described by a 3D homogeneous porous medium. The resulting surrogate networks are analysed with respect to morphological and physiological aspects.

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