Computational Science

Computer Modeling of Perlecan as a Vascular Regulator

Description: Angiogenesis, the physiological process in the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels, is required for proper development, normal physiology, as well as wound healing for all organs of the body. It is also critical for tumor growth. Tumors require a blood supply to grow from microscopic size to macroscopic size. Cells are unable to be nourished properly beyond an oxygen diffusion distance of about 200 micro meter and therefore require blood vessels in their vicinity. This can be accomplished by the growth of capillaries. The process begins with the degradation of existing matrix and the migration of of endothelial cells into the areas to be vascularized, followed by proliferation of endothelial cells and formation of capillaries. The formed capillaries are initially blind-ended, but eventually open themselves to become funtional blood vessels, in a not well understood process. The growth of endothelial cells and tumor cells can be stimulated or inhibited by certain molecules. Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2), a soluble protein, is such a stimulator that acts from cell surface to affect the growth and differentiation of a wide range of cell types, such as endothelial, mesodermal, and ectodermal. This research project describes ai general mathematical model and provides efficient numerical methods for simulating the binding of a ligand L (FGF-2) simultaneously and competitively to two different binding sites, FGFR and sHSPG, located on the surface of a capillary, under flow condition in vitro.