A unique three-dimensional (3D) computational multiscale modeling approach is proposed to investigate the influence of presence of microcalcification particles on the stress field distribution in the thin cap layer of a coronary atherosclerotic vulnerable plaque system. A nested 3D modeling analysis framework spanning the multiscale nature of a coronary atherosclerotic vulnerable plaque is presented. At the microscale level, a micromechanical modeling approach, which is based on computational finite-element (FE) representative unit cell, is applied to obtain the homogenized nonlinear response of the calcified tissue. This equivalent response effectively allows the integration of extremely small microcalcification inclusions in a global biomechanical FE model. Next, at the macroscale level, a 3D patient-based fluid–structure interaction FE model, reconstructing a refined coronary artery geometry with calcified plaque lesion, is generated to study the mechanical behavior of such multi-component biomechanical system. It is shown that the proposed multiscale modeling approach can generate a higher resolution of stress and strain field distributions within the coronary atherosclerotic vulnerable plaque system and allow the assessment of the local concentration stress around the microcalcifications in plaque cap layers. A comparison of stress field distributions within cap layers with and without inclusion of microcalcifications is also presented.
- Coronary atherosclerotic vulnerable plaque
- Fluid–Structure Interaction
- Multiscale modeling approach