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Title: Mathematical modelling of microcirculation in a poroelastic model of the liver, and its application to the study of ascites
Author: Argungu, Maryam
ISNI:       0000 0004 7963 7441
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2018
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The liver performs many vital functions in the body and has a natural ability to regenerate itself, except in the case of repeated or severe damage often caused by liver diseases. Damage due to liver disease occurs in the form of scarring of healthy liver tissue, a process known as fibrosis. Chronic fibrosis can lead to liver cirrhosis, a condition that is irreversible and often requires liver transplantation. Cirrhosis manifests itself in the form of increased tissue stiffness and decreased tissue permeability, which then leads to a marked decrease in blood perfusion and functioning of the liver tissue. As a homeostatic response, hepatic portal blood pressure also increases, which then leads to an increased outflow of excess interstitial fluid across the surface of the liver and into the surrounding peritoneal cavity. The abnormal accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity is known as ascites and is characterised by large abdominal girth, abdominal pain and discomfort. The aim of this thesis was to model the microcirculation of blood and interstitial fluid in the liver, so as to investigate the changes in vasculature that lead to impaired blood perfusion and the formation of ascites. To that end, we have developed a dual-porosity, dual-permeability deformable model of the liver tissue using the Biot theory of poroelasticity. We then used the model as part of a compartmental model of the peritoneal cavity and investigated the effect of liver disease (fibrosis/cirrhosis) on the accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity. By varying the degree of liver tissue stiffness, we simulated and compared different stages of liver fibrosis, as well as predicted the severity of the resulting ascites. This makes our model an improvement on the current literature, with the aim of future use in informing and improving disease treatment strategies.
Supervisor: Tweedy, Jennifer Helen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral