Modeling the growth and adhesion of auricular chondrocytes under controlled flow conditions

DMS-0443826 (UH), DMS-0443549(THI), DMS-0443563(Baylor)
Supported jointly by the NSF and NIH


This is an interdisciplinary project in the area of Mathematical Biology. The main goal is to develop mathematical models and numerical methods to study diffusion-mediated and stress-induced growth and adhesion of ear cartilage cells called auricular chondrocytes in a novel environment: seeded on an artificial surface exposed to the pulsatile flow conditions. Chondrocytes are typically studied in the environments where they normally reside such as the joints in hips, intervertebral disks or the ear. It is not known how auricular chondrocytes grow, adhere or slough-off from artificial surfaces immersed a fluid. By developing mathematical models, numerical simulations and experimental procedures the goal is to design a cell-fluid-structure interaction algorithm that would couple chondrocytes growth with the novel environmental conditions. The mathematical models are based on the study of the coupling between the three-phase flow equations describing ear cartilage growth, a probabilistic model for cell adhesion dynamics, and a numerical model for particle-fluid and fluid-structure interaction. Experimental validation is planned using the flow loop assembled at the Texas Heart Institute. Results from this project will shed light on the feasibility of using genetically engineered auricular chondrocytes as long-lasting biocompatible coating for vascular devices such as stents used in the treatment of coronary artery disease.




  • Mate Kosor, University of Houston and University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • Taebeom Kim, University of Houston
  • Cynthia Chmielewski, University of Houston
  • Jian Hao, University of Houston
  • Tong Wang, University of Houston
  • Brad Stanley, undergraduate student at University of Houston
  • Katy Moncivais, Rice University
  • Tim Joseph, Rice University
  • Jaskaran Gill, Rice University


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  • Mathematical Modeling of Endovascular Stents[web-page]
  • Dynamics of a stent inserted in aortic abdominal aneurysm (aneurysm not shown) [gif]
  • Texas Heart Institute Flow Loop Set-up [jpg]
  • Fluid-Structure Interaction Simulation Modeling Blood Flow in a Test Segment of the Flow Loop [wmv]
  • Dynamics of a stent-graft inserted in aortic abdominal aneurysm (aneurysm not shown) [avi]
  • Cell detahment under constant shear flow conditions. Cells that adhered to the bottom surface were exposed to the constant shear flow conditions. Cell detachment and cell sliding is observed. [avi]