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The genesis, growth, and rupture of intracranial aneurysms (IAs) involve physics at the molecular, cellular, blood vessel, and organ levels that occur over time scales ranging from seconds to years. Comprehensive mathematical modeling of IAs, therefore, requires the description and integration of events across length and time scales that span many orders of magnitude. In this letter, we outline a strategy for mulstiscale modeling of IAs that involves the construction of individual models at each relevant scale and their subsequent combination into an integrative model that captures the overall complexity of IA development. An example of the approach is provided using three models operating at different length and time scales: 1) shear stress induced nitric oxide production; 2) smooth muscle cell apoptosis; and 3) fluid-structure-growth modeling. A computational framework for combining them is presented. We conclude with a discussion of the advantages and challenges of the approach.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2011