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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 476964, 10 pages
Research Article

Oxygen Transport in a Three-Dimensional Microvascular Network Incorporated with Early Tumour Growth and Preexisting Vessel Cooption: Numerical Simulation Study

1School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
2Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Tongji University, Shanghai 200433, China
3School of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200240, China

Received 5 October 2014; Revised 17 November 2014; Accepted 17 November 2014

Academic Editor: Weibo Cai

Copyright © 2015 Yan Cai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We propose a dynamic mathematical model of tissue oxygen transport by a preexisting three-dimensional microvascular network which provides nutrients for an in situ cancer at the very early stage of primary microtumour growth. The expanding tumour consumes oxygen during its invasion to the surrounding tissues and cooption of host vessels. The preexisting vessel cooption, remodelling and collapse are modelled by the changes of haemodynamic conditions due to the growing tumour. A detailed computational model of oxygen transport in tumour tissue is developed by considering (a) the time-varying oxygen advection diffusion equation within the microvessel segments, (b) the oxygen flux across the vessel walls, and (c) the oxygen diffusion and consumption within the tumour and surrounding healthy tissue. The results show the oxygen concentration distribution at different time points of early tumour growth. In addition, the influence of preexisting vessel density on the oxygen transport has been discussed. The proposed model not only provides a quantitative approach for investigating the interactions between tumour growth and oxygen delivery, but also is extendable to model other molecules or chemotherapeutic drug transport in the future study.