The role of the microvascular network structure on diffusion and consumption of anticancer drugs

Mascheroni, P. and Penta, R. (2017) The role of the microvascular network structure on diffusion and consumption of anticancer drugs. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering, 33(10), e2857. (doi: 10.1002/cnm.2857)

151340.pdf - Accepted Version



We investigate the impact of microvascular geometry on the transport of drugs in solid tumors, focusing on the diffusion and consumption phenomena. We embrace recent advances in the asymptotic homogenization literature starting from a double Darcy—double advection-diffusion-reaction system of partial differential equations that is obtained exploiting the sharp length separation between the intercapillary distance and the average tumor size. The geometric information on the microvascular network is encoded into effective hydraulic conductivities and diffusivities, which are numerically computed by solving periodic cell problems on appropriate microscale representative cells. The coefficients are then injected into the macroscale equations, and these are solved for an isolated, vascularized spherical tumor. We consider the effect of vascular tortuosity on the transport of anticancer molecules, focusing on Vinblastine and Doxorubicin dynamics, which are considered as a tracer and as a highly interacting molecule, respectively. The computational model is able to quantify the treatment performance through the analysis of the interstitial drug concentration and the quantity of drug metabolized in the tumor. Our results show that both drug advection and diffusion are dramatically impaired by increasing geometrical complexity of the microvasculature, leading to nonoptimal absorption and delivery of therapeutic agents. However, this effect apparently has a minor role whenever the dynamics are mostly driven by metabolic reactions in the tumor interstitium, eg, for highly interacting molecules. In the latter case, anticancer therapies that aim at regularizing the microvasculature might not play a major role, and different strategies are to be developed.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Penta, Dr Raimondo
Authors: Mascheroni, P., and Penta, R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Mathematics
Journal Name:International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering
ISSN (Online):2040-7947
Published Online:06 December 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
First Published:First published in International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering 33(10);e2857
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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