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Regulation of vascular tone is a complex process that remains poorly understood. Here, we present our recent efforts for the development of physiologically realistic models of arterial segments for the analysis of vasoreactivity in health and disease. Multiscale modeling integrates intracellular and cell membrane components into whole-cell models of calcium and membrane potential dynamics. Single-cell models of vascular cells are combined into a multicellular model of the vascular wall, and vessel wall biomechanics are integrated with calcium dynamics in the smooth muscle layer. At each scale, continuum models using finite element method can account for spatial heterogeneity in calcium signaling and for nonuniform deformations of a vessel segment. The outlined approach can be used to investigate cellular mechanisms underlying altered vasoreactivity in hypertension.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2011