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Title: Computational analysis of blood flow and oxygen transport in the retinal arterial network
Author: Liu, Dan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2692 0139
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2010
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Pathological changes in retinal microvasculature are known to be associated with systemic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, and may result in potentially disadvantageous blood flow and impair oxygen distribution. Therefore, in order to improve our understanding of the link between systemic diseases and the retinal circulation, it is necessary to develop an approach to quantitatively determine the hemodynamic and oxygen transport parameters in the retinal vascular circulation. This thesis aims to provide more insights into the detailed hemodynamic features of the retinal arterial tree by means of non-invasive imaging and computational modelling. It covers the following two aspects: i) 3D reconstruction of the retinal arterial tree, and ii) development of an image-based computational model to predict blood flow and oxygen transport in realistic subject-specific retinal arterial trees. The latter forms the main body of the thesis. 3D reconstruction of the retinal arterial tree was performed based on retinal images acquired in vivo with a fundus camera and validated using a simple 3D object. The reproduction procedure was found to be feasible but with limited accuracy. In the proposed 2D computational model, the smaller peripheral vessels indistinguishable from the retinal images were represented by self-similar asymmetric structured trees. The non-Newtonian properties of blood, and nonlinear oxyhemoglobin dissociation in the red blood cells and plasma were considered. The simulation results of the computational model were found in good agreement with in vivo measurements reported in the literature. In order to understand the effect of retinal vascular structure on blood flow and oxygen transport, the computational model was applied to subject-specific geometries for a number of hypertensive and diabetic patients, and comparisons were made with results obtained from healthy retinal arterial networks. Moreover, energy analysis of normal and hypertensive subjects was performed using 3D hypothetical models. Finally, the influence of different viscosity models on flow and oxygen transport in a retinal tree and the advantage of low dimensional models were examined. This study has demonstrated the applicability of the image-based computational modelling to study the hemodynamics and oxygen distribution in the retinal arterial network.
Supervisor: Xu, Xiao Yun Sponsor: Foundation for Circulatory Health ; Imperial College London
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral