Computationally efficient algorithms for convection-permeation-diffusion models for blood-tissue exchange

Ann Biomed Eng. 1992;20(6):687-725. doi: 10.1007/BF02368613.


Analysis of data on tissue depositions obtained by positron tomographic or NMR imaging, or of multiple tracer outflow dilution curves, requires fitting data with models composed of aggregates of capillary-tissue units. These units account for heterogeneities of flows and multisolute exchanges between longitudinally distributed regions across capillary and cell barriers within an organ. Because the analytic solutions to the partial differential equations require convolution integration, solutions are obtained relatively efficiently by a fast numerical method. Our approach centers on the use of a sliding fluid element algorithm for capillary convection, with the time step set equal to the length step divided by the fluid velocity. Radial fluxes by permeation between plasma, interstitial fluid, and cells and axial diffusion exchanges within each time step are calculated analytically. The method enforces mass conservation unless there is regional consumption. Solution for a 2-barrier, 3-region model, accurate to within 0.5%, are 100 to 1000 times faster than the corresponding, purely analytic solution, and over 10,000 times for a 4-region model. Applications include multiple indicator dilution studies of kinetics of transcapillary exchange and positron emission tomographic studies of the mechanisms of substrate transport into cells of organs in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Biological Transport
  • Capillaries / metabolism*
  • Diffusion
  • Ion Exchange
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Permeability