Modeling the growth and dissolution of clots in flowing blood
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Multiple interacting mechanisms control the formation and dissolution of clots to maintain blood in a state of delicate balance. In addition to a myriad of biochemical reactions, rheological factors also play a crucial role in modulating the response of blood to external stimuli. The broad stimuli for clot formation were laid out, more than a century ago, in, what is now referred to as, Virchow??????s triad. To date, a comprehensive model for clot formation and dissolution, that takes into account the biochemical, medical and rheological factors, has not been put into place, the existing models emphasizing either one or the other of the factors. In this dissertation, a model is developed for clot formation and dissolution that incorporates many of the relevant crucial factors that have a bearing on the problem. The model, though just a first step towards understanding a complex phenomenon goes further than previous models in integrating the biochemical, medical and rheological factors that come into play. The model is tested in some simple flow situations as part of an attempt to elucidate Virchow??????s triad. Extensions to the model, along with detailed numerical studies, will hopefully aid in a clearer understanding of the phenomenon, and in making relevant clinical correlations.