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A Constitutive Model for a Maturing Fibrin Network

Biophysical Journal
DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2014.05.035
  • Systems Biophysics
  • Biology
  • Engineering
  • Medicine


Abstract Blood clot formation is crucial to maintain normal physiological conditions but at the same time involved in many diseases. The mechanical properties of the blood clot are important for its functioning but complicated due to the many processes involved. The main structural component of the blood clot is fibrin, a fibrous network that forms within the blood clot, thereby increasing its mechanical rigidity. A constitutive model for the maturing fibrin network is developed that captures the evolving mechanical properties. The model describes the fibrin network as a network of fibers that become thicker in time. Model parameters are related to the structural properties of the network, being the fiber length, bending stiffness, and mass-length ratio. Results are compared with rheometry experiments in which the network maturation is followed in time for various loading frequencies and fibrinogen concentrations. Three parameters are used to capture the mechanical behavior including the mass-length ratio. This parameter agrees with values determined using turbidimetry experiments and is subsequently used to derive the number of protofibrils and fiber radius. The strength of the model is that it describes the mechanical properties of the maturing fibrin network based on it structural quantities. At the same time the model is relatively simple, which makes it suitable for advanced numerical simulations of blood clot formation during flow in blood vessels.

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