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Human Liver Growth Effects

Multiscale and Multiphase Modeling of Growth effects in the Human Liver

Scales important for liver mechanics (c)
Depiction of the important scales regarding human liver research

The liver is the most important organ responsible for metabolic homeostasis like glucose metabolism or fat storage and the detoxification of blood. Various liver diseases like the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can affect the liver functions. Since about 20-30% of the population in industrial countries suffer from a NAFLD, which results for example from a high fat diet, a better understanding of the development of fat in the liver cells and their effects on the blood perfusion is necessary for a better diagnosis and finally an improved therapeutic treatment.

To simulate the processes in the liver, we use a multicomponent, poro-elastic, multiphasic and multiscale function-perfusion approach.

On the organ scale the total perfusion as well as the blood pressure is simulated. This affects the blood perfusion through the liver lobules on the lobule scale, where we have an anisotropic blood flow along the sinusoid, the liver cells. On the lobule scale the complex biological structure of the liver lobules is described by the Theory of Porous Media (TPM ). The metabolism processes take place on the cell scale, where we use ordinary differential equations to describe the extensive procedures.

The picture on the right shows the distribution of the fat in the liver lobule, with help of the volume fraction of the fat.

Liver lobule (c) Lena Lambers
Fat distribution in liver lobule

The numerical model allows a non-invasive, patient-specific analysis of the liver and can help to improve therapy as well as actual surgical procedures. Furthermore, the model can help to predict the progress of a NAFLD and its effect on the liver functions like perfusion or blood pressure, as well as interaction with other liver processes like the detoxification of toxins.


Tim Ricken, Navina Waschinsky, Daniel Werner
Simulation of Steatosis Zonation in Liver Lobule—A Continuummechanical Bi-Scale, Tri-Phasic, Multi-Component Approach
Biomechanical Today, 2018


Bruno Christ, Uta Dahmen, Karl-Heinz Herrmann, Matthias König, Jürgen R. Reichenbach, Tim Ricken, Jana Schleicher, Lars Ole Schwen, Sebastian Vlaic and Navina Waschinsky
Computational Modeling in Liver Surgery
Front. Physiol. 8:906., November 2017


Navina Waschinsky, Daniel Werner, Tim Ricken, Uta Dahmen, and Olaf Dirsch
On a bi-scale and tri-phasic model for the description of growth in biological tissue using the example of the human liver
PAMM _Proc. Appl. Math. Mech. 16, 109 – 110 (2016)


Daniel Werner, Tim Ricken, Uta Dahmen, Olaf Dirsch, Hermann-Georg Holzhütter and Matthias König
On the Influence of Growth in Perfusion Dependent Biological Systems - at the Example of the Human Liver
PAMM _ Proc. Appl. Math. Mech. 15, 119 – 120 (2015)

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Lena Lambers

Research Assistant