ABSTRACT: Platelet activation is a precursor for blood clotting, which plays leading roles in many vascular complications and causes of death. Platelets can be activated by chemical or mechanical stimuli. Mechanically, platelet activation has been shown to be a function of elevated shear stress and exposure time. These contributions can be combined by considering the cumulative stress or strain on a platelet as it is transported. Here, we develop a framework for computing a hemodynamic-based activation potential that is derived from a Lagrangian integral of strain rate magnitude. We demonstrate that such a measure is generally maximized along, and near to, distinguished material surfaces in the flow. The connections between activation potential and these structures are illustrated through stenotic flow computations. We uncover two distinct structures that may explain observed thrombus formation at the apex and downstream of stenoses. More broadly, these findings suggest fundamental relationships may exist between potential fluid mechanic pathways for mechanical platelet activation and the mechanisms governing their transport.
Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology 07/2012; · 3.19 Impact Factor