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A combined three-dimensional in vitro-in silico approach to modelling bubble dynamics in decompression sickness

Walsh, C; Stride, E; Cheema, U; Ovenden, NC; (2017) A combined three-dimensional in vitro-in silico approach to modelling bubble dynamics in decompression sickness. Journal of the Royal Society Interface , 14 (137) , Article 20170653. 10.1098/rsif.2017.0653. Green open access

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Abstract

The growth of bubbles within the body is widely believed to be the cause of decompression sickness (DCS). Dive computer algorithms that aim to prevent DCS by mathematically modelling bubble dynamics and tissue gas kinetics are challenging to validate. This is due to lack of understanding regarding the mechanism(s) leading from bubble formation to DCS. In this work, a biomimetic in vitro tissue phantom and a three-dimensional computational model, comprising a hyperelastic strain-energy density function to model tissue elasticity, were combined to investigate key areas of bubble dynamics. A sensitivity analysis indicated that the diffusion coefficient was the most influential material parameter. Comparison of computational and experimental data revealed the bubble surface's diffusion coefficient to be 30 times smaller than that in the bulk tissue and dependent on the bubble's surface area. The initial size, size distribution and proximity of bubbles within the tissue phantom were also shown to influence their subsequent dynamics highlighting the importance of modelling bubble nucleation and bubble–bubble interactions in order to develop more accurate dive algorithms.

Type: Article
Title: A combined three-dimensional in vitro-in silico approach to modelling bubble dynamics in decompression sickness
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2017.0653
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2017.0653
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited
Keywords: Decompression sickness, bubbles, in vitro, the bends, coalescence
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Ortho and MSK Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Mathematics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10040494
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