Development of a Computational Fluid Dynamics Tool to Explore the Interactions between Cancer Cells and Leukocytes

Open Access
Hoskins, Meghan E
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
May 02, 2008
Committee Members:
  • Cheng Dong, Committee Chair
  • Robert Francis Kunz, Committee Chair
  • Keefe B Manning, Committee Member
  • Andrea Marie Mastro, Committee Member
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • cell adhesion
  • neutrophils
  • melanoma
  • computational structural mechanics
A new multidisciplinary computational method has been developed to model the physics of interacting systems of blood and cancer cells. The method is applied to explore the mechanics of melanoma cell interactions with white blood cells in a shear flow in a near-wall region. The computational technique combines author-developed and commercial software to model four component physics: fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, six-degree-of-freedom motion, and adhesion biochemistry. The specific application of the model development is the interactions of melanoma cells with polymorphonuclear white blood cells (neutrophils, PMNs). It has been shown that human PMNs may link melanoma cells to blood vessel walls during the extravasation process. To model these interactions, the adhesion parameters specific to melanoma cell adhesion to PMNs were determined experimentally. Several computational studies were completed to verify and validate the model components, and the model was used to explore PMN deformation, melanoma cell-PMN collisions and subsequent melanoma cell-PMN adhesion under differing flow conditions.