Mathematical Modeling of Ischemia–Reperfusion Injury and Postconditioning Therapy

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3 Scopus citations


Reperfusion (restoration of blood flow) after a period of ischemia (interruption of blood flow) can paradoxically place tissues at risk of further injury: so-called ischemia–reperfusion injury or IR injury. Recent studies have shown that postconditioning (intermittent periods of further ischemia applied during reperfusion) can reduce IR injury. We develop a mathematical model to describe the reperfusion and postconditioning process following an ischemic insult, treating the blood vessel as a two-dimensional channel, lined with a monolayer of endothelial cells that interact (respiration and mechanotransduction) with the blood flow. We investigate how postconditioning affects the total cell density within the endothelial layer, by varying the frequency of the pulsatile flow and the oxygen concentration at the inflow boundary. We find that, in the scenarios we consider, the pulsatile flow should be of high frequency to minimize cellular damage, while oxygen concentration at the inflow boundary should be held constant, or subject to only low-frequency variations, to maximize cell proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2474-2511
Number of pages38
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Immunology
  • General Mathematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Pharmacology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


  • Ischemia–reperfusion injury
  • Mathematical model
  • Postconditioning therapy


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