SUBJECT: Ph.D. Proposal Presentation
BY: Zixiang Liu
TIME: Monday, February 10, 2020, 12:00 p.m.
PLACE: IBB Building, 1128
TITLE: Multiscale Simulation of Molecular and Cellular Blood Flow and Clotting
COMMITTEE: Dr. David N. Ku, Co-Chair (ME)
Dr. Cyrus K. Aidun, Co-Chair (ME)
Dr. Cheng Zhu (BME/ME)
Dr. Alfredo Alexander-Katz (MIT)
Dr. Jonathan R. Clausen (Sandia)
Dr. Rekha R. Rao (Sandia)


Blood is a biological fluid that transports life-sustaining oxygen, nutrients, and metabolic products throughout the body. Separately, blood can clot to stop hemorrhaging or obstruct the arteries to cause heart attacks or strokes. The blood is composed of suspended constituents ranging from red blood cells (RBCs) and platelets to proteins such as von Willebrand factor (vWF), spanning a wide length-scale spectrum from micrometers to nanometers.

This thesis will develop a novel multiscale blood flow solver to model whole blood flow and clotting based on first principles incorporating both molecular and cellular biophysics. The method will be applied to study the dispersion of nano-to-microscale particles in tubular or sheared blood flow, providing guidance to the prediction of nano-drug distribution in blood circulation. The shear-induced thrombus formation through vWF elongation and entanglement under elevated shear will be interrogated to gain a fundamental explanation of the rapid platelet accumulation that causes occlusive thrombosis, that can point to potential directions for developing novel vWF-targeting antithrombotic therapies to prevent heart attacks and strokes.