Title: Chemical and mechanical mechanisms making arterial plaques vulnerable to rupture: a mathematical modeling perspective
Abstract: While most arterial plaques are stable, a percentage of plaques become vulnerable to rupture, causing heart attacks, strokes, or organ damage, depending on their location. The main question is to pin down trigger mechanisms that destabilize a plaque. Biochemical, mechanical and hemodynamic mechanisms are involved. We model the cellular and chemical dynamics in a maturing plaque, where a fibrous cap is developing and chemotaxis plays a significant role. We explain cross-chemotaxis, presenting some theory and simulations. As time permits, we then briefly discuss the role of blood shear stress on the endothelial cell layer, and how to incorporate this mechanism into our plaque model.