Microcirculation in the murine liver: A computational fluid dynamic model based on 3D reconstruction from in vivo microscopy

M Piergiovanni, E Bianchi, G Capitani, I Li Piani, L Ganzer, LG Guidotti, M Iannacone, G Dubini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The liver is organized in hexagonal functional units - termed lobules - characterized by a rather peculiar blood microcirculation, due to the presence of a tangled network of capillaries - termed sinusoids. A better understanding of the hemodynamics that governs liver microcirculation is relevant to clinical and biological studies aimed at improving our management of liver diseases and transplantation.Herein, we built a CFD model of a 3D sinusoidal network, based on in vivo images of a physiological mouse liver obtained with a 2-photon microscope. The CFD model was developed with Fluent 16.0 (ANSYS Inc., Canonsburg, PA), particular care was taken in imposing the correct boundary conditions representing a physiological state. To account for the remaining branches of the sinusoids, a lumped parameter model was used to prescribe the correct pressure at each outlet. The effect of an adhered cell on local hemodynamics is also investigated for different occlusion degrees.The model here proposed accurately reproduces the fluid dynamics in a portion of the sinusoidal network in mouse liver. Mean velocities and mass flow rates are in agreement with literature values from in vivo measurements. Our approach provides details on local phenomena, hardly described by other computational studies, either focused on the macroscopic hepatic vasculature or based on homogeneous porous medium model. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-134
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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