Date of Award

Fall 2002

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Dawson, Christopher A.

Second Advisor

Jeutter, Dean C.

Third Advisor

Krenz, Gary S.


The pulmonary arterial tree is a complex structure whose primary function is to deliver blood to the pulmonary capillaries in proportion to local ventilation while providing the appropriate impedance for the output of the right ventricle. Its complexity tends to obscure a direct intuitive assessment of its key design features with respect to its function and to the overall costs of construction and operation, often expressed in terms of the size of the structure and the hydraulic work required to carry out its functions. Mathematical modeling is the primary means for evaluating the functional implications of vascular structure as quantified using vascular morphometry. The objective is to determine, using such a model, the influence of variations in morphometric parameters, obtained from pulmonary arterial tree data, on model function. The functions of interest are: 1) the longitudinal (inlet artery to terminal arteriole) distribution of vascular resistance, as one determinant of the pulmonary arterial input impedance, and 2) the distribution in terminal flows, as one determinant of the perfusion distribution with respect to alveolar ventilation. An additional objective is to continue to pursue development of efficient building blocks for progressively more comprehensive models of the entire pulmonary vascular system.



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