Multiscale Modeling of Tumor Induced Microcirculation

Announcement date: Oct. 21, 2011

DESCRIPTION: The flow of blood and the transport of solutes in healthy and tumor induced microvascular networks will be investigated by developing novel multiscale particle methods.
The microcirculation in vascular networks is an inherently multiscale phenomenon. The endothelial cell glycocalyx and plasma proteins are nano/micro scale structures that affect the micro/macro scale transport of fluid and solutes near and through the vessel walls.  In turn the flow modification affects through  shear stresses the signaling and proliferation of the endothelial cells as well as the dynamics of the Red Blood Cells (RBC) in small capillaries.
The multiscale modeling of microcirculation presents a number of methodological challenges that are addressed in this project  through the use of particle methods.
Particle methods provide  a unifying formulation for the description of phenomena across different scales and recent progress in molecular models, fast algorithms, and scalable software  have enabled simulations using billions of computational elements that can readily describe phenomena across scales.  Specific aims of the present project include:
Development of  a coarse-grained model of the glycocalyx, bridging atomistic and mesoscopic phenomena affecting the flow in microcirculation
Large scales blood flow simulations in order to obtain functional relationships that quantify the transport of blood and solutes across the vessel wall in tumor induced microcirculation
Quantification of leakage in tumor vasculature and its relation to effective drug delivery.
The present study will enhance our understanding of the relative  importance of phenomena associated with transport processes in the microvasculature. The results will help to quantify transport phenomena in healthy and tumor induced vasculature thus contributing to the development of rational strategies for cancer therapy.The student will be working at the Chair of Computational Science at ETH Zürich and in collaboration with the group of Professor Igor Pivkin (Universita da Svizzera Italiana).
PREREQUISITES: University degree in any of the following disciplines: Physics, Computational and Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Mechanical/Civil Engineering, Applied Mechanics.  PhD studies at ETHZ are conducted in English.
DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS: January 1, 2012, or until position filled
DURATION OF APPOINTMENT: 3 years (+an eventual fourth year).
FELLOWSHIP: Stipend of up to CHF 60,000 per year pending on qualifications.
APPLYING: Please e-mail to including:
  • Curriculum Vitae (including contact information of two references)
  • Grades of all University Classes
  • A one page statement of your background and research interests
  • GRE and TOEFL Scores (if available)
CONTACT: Prof. Petros Koumoutsakos
Chair of Computational Science
Universitätstrasse 6, ETH Zurich
CH-8092, Switzerland