Computational Modeling Approaches to Vascular Biology
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute convened a Working Group
of investigators on May 20, 2005, in Bethesda, Maryland, to to assess
the feasibility of developing a multi-scale computational framework for
understanding vascular biology and to identify opportunities for, and
barriers to, achieving this goal.
The working group considered the current state of computational research
in vascular biology, physiology, and pathology and made the following
- The vast knowledge base in vascular biology/pathophysiology is both
limited in quantitative content and lacks standardization for the acquisition
- Successful computational expertise in vascular biology has been developed
principally in relation to (i) blood flow dynamics, biomechanics, and
transport approaches, (ii) imaging sciences, and (iii) the biophysics
of circulating cell interactions (with each other and with the surfaces
- In general, there is a "disconnect" between mathematical/computational
modelers and investigators who perform experimental studies. However,
there are notable successful exceptions that can be built upon.
- Vascular biology knowledge is not integrated in scale (molecular
- cellular - tissue - vascular bed - organ) and the tools to do so are
- Encourage computational modeling of multi-scale vascular structure
- Foster collaboration between computational and experimental scientists.
- Promote computational frameworks within defined boundaries of investigation
to focus on the most pressing issues.
- Encourage development of standards, ontologies, and mark-up languages
that will allow use of databases of experimental measurements and mathematical
- Encourage software development and maintenance specifically for multi-scaling
in the mesoscale domain
- Emphasize the use of in vivo data to develop parameters and to validate
computational models of vascular biology
- Initiate a clinical treatment trial of ACE inhibitors in Duchenne
muscular dystrophy patients asymptomatic for cardiac dysfunction.
- Stimulate research on enzyme replacement therapy in metabolic diseases
affecting the heart.
The Working Group is planning to publish a report, that will be posted
on the NHLBI public web site with a link to the journal or journals where
the report is published.
Pothur Srinivas, Ph.D., NHLBI, NIH
Last updated: July 20, 2005