Modelling and control of dynamic platelet aggregation under disturbed blood flow

Combariza Pacheco, M 2014, Modelling and control of dynamic platelet aggregation under disturbed blood flow, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Modelling and control of dynamic platelet aggregation under disturbed blood flow
Author(s) Combariza Pacheco, M
Year 2014
Abstract Diagnosis of platelet function is fundamental for identifying blood disorders of patients, assessing the impact of antiplatelet agents, and enabling the appropriate titration of individual antithrombotic treatments. Following the advancement of new technologies such as microfluidic devices and the use of control engineering methods, new devices have the potential to offer new opportunities in point-of-care diagnosis of platelet function. Such new devices may have significant utility in the development of more tailored antiplatelet therapies. The aim of this thesis is to investigate modelling and control systems which support the study of the dynamic relationship between newly discovered mechanisms of platelet aggregation and disturbed blood flow, using state-of-the-art micro-engineered technologies. In order to observe the dynamics of platelet aggregation under disturbed blood flow, blood perfusion experiments carried out on a device mimicking a scenario of severe vessel narrowing are presented. The resulting biological response, that is the aggregation of platelets, is monitored in real-time and synthesised through novel measures developed using image processing techniques. A mechanistic model identifying four distinct stages observed in the formation of the aggregate is formulated, describing the nonlinear relationship between blood flow dynamics and platelet aggregation.

The observed effect of disturbed blood flow on the aggregation of platelets is then modelled mathematically employing System Identification methods. A detailed account of a novel approach for the generation of experimental data is presented, as well as the formulation of tailored mathematical model structures and the calculation of their parameters using collected data. The proposed models replicate experimental results with low variation, and the reduced number of model parameters is suggested as a novel systematic measure of platelet aggregation dynamics in the presence of blood flow disturbances.

In order to stabilise, optimise, and automate the measurement of platelet function in response to disturbed blood flow, custom-made control algorithms based on principles of Sliding Mode Control and Pulse-Width Modulation are developed. Moreover, the control algorithms are developed to handle the large variability of the aggregation responses from blood types with platelet hyper- and hypo-function. Simulation results illustrate the robustness of the control algorithms in the presence of time-varying nonlinearities and model uncertainty, and indicate the possibility to regulate the extent of aggregation in the device through modulation of the blood flow rate in the microchannel.

The main contribution of this thesis is the development of dynamic models and control systems that allow a systematic measurement of platelet function in response to rapid changes in the blood flow (shear rate micro-gradients), in a microfluidics device containing a scenario of disturbed blood flow. Analysis of the platelet aggregation dynamics revealed that although the aggregate growth appears to be constant at times, measuring its mean fluorescence intensity indicates an increase in the dynamics of platelet density. This densification process appears fundamental for the development of an amplification phase in the aggregation response. The proposed mathematical models and control algorithms facilitate the systematic measurement of platelet function in vitro, pioneering the development of a novel framework for automated blood disorder diagnosis.

Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Electrical and Computer Engineering
Keyword(s) modelling
platelet aggregation
shear ate
disturbed flow
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Created: Fri, 24 Oct 2014, 10:52:49 EST by Denise Paciocco
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