A computational model of oxygen transport in skeletal muscle for sprouting and splitting modes of angiogenesis

J Theor Biol. 2006 Jul 7;241(1):94-108. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2005.11.019. Epub 2006 Jan 4.


Oxygen transport from capillary networks in muscle at a high oxygen consumption rate was simulated using a computational model to assess the relative efficacies of sprouting and splitting modes of angiogenesis. Efficacy was characterized by the volumetric fraction of hypoxic tissue and overall heterogeneity of oxygen distribution at steady state. Oxygen transport was simulated for a three-dimensional vascular network using parameters for rat extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle when oxygen consumption by tissue reached 6, 12, and 18 times basal consumption. First, a control network was generated by using straight non-anastomosed capillaries to establish baseline capillarity. Two networks were then constructed simulating either abluminal lateral sprouting or intraluminal splitting angiogenesis such that capillary surface area was equal in both networks. The sprouting network was constructed by placing anastomosed capillaries between straight capillaries of the control network with a higher probability of placement near hypoxic tissue. The splitting network was constructed by splitting capillaries from the control network into two branches at randomly chosen branching points. Under conditions of moderate oxygen consumption (6 times basal), only minor differences in oxygen delivery resulted between the sprouting and splitting networks. At higher consumption levels (12 and 18 times basal), the splitting network had the lowest volume of hypoxic tissue of the three networks. However, when total blood flow in all three networks was made equal, the sprouting network had the lowest volume of hypoxic tissue. This study also shows that under the steady-state conditions the effect of myoglobin (Mb) on oxygen transport was small.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Capillaries
  • Models, Biological
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Oxygen / metabolism*


  • Oxygen