Advanced imaging techniques have made available extensive three-dimensional microvascular network structures. Simulation of oxygen transport by such networks requires information on blood flow rates and oxygen levels in vessels crossing boundaries of the imaged region, which is difficult to obtain experimentally. Here, a computational method is presented for estimating blood flow rates, oxygen levels, tissue perfusion and oxygen extraction, based on incomplete boundary conditions. Flow rates in all segments are estimated using a previously published method. Vessels crossing the region boundary are classified as arterioles, capillaries or venules. Oxygen levels in inflowing capillaries are assigned based on values in outflowing capillaries, and similarly for venules. Convective and diffusive oxygen transport is simulated. Contributions of each vessel to perfusion are computed in proportion to the decline in oxygen concentration along that vessel. For a vascular network in the mouse cerebral cortex, predicted tissue oxygen levels show a broad distribution, with 99% of tissue in the range of 20 to 80 mmHg under reference conditions, and steep gradients near arterioles. Perfusion and extraction estimates are consistent with experimental values. A 30% reduction in perfusion or a 30% increase in oxygen demand, relative to reference levels, is predicted to result in tissue hypoxia.
- Blood flow
- oxygen extraction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine