Multiscale Particle-Based Modeling of Flowing Platelets in Blood Plasma Using Dissipative Particle Dynamics and Coarse Grained Molecular Dynamics

Peng Zhang, Chao Gao, Na Zhang, Marvin J. Slepian, Yuefan Deng, Danny Bluestein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We developed a multiscale particle-based model of platelets, to study the transport dynamics of shear stresses between the surrounding fluid and the platelet membrane. This model facilitates a more accurate prediction of the activation potential of platelets by viscous shear stresses—one of the major mechanisms leading to thrombus formation in cardiovascular diseases and in prosthetic cardiovascular devices. The interface of the model couples coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CGMD) with dissipative particle dynamics (DPD). The CGMD handles individual platelets while the DPD models the macroscopic transport of blood plasma in vessels. A hybrid force field is formulated for establishing a functional interface between the platelet membrane and the surrounding fluid, in which the microstructural changes of platelets may respond to the extracellular viscous shear stresses transferred to them. The interaction between the two systems preserves dynamic properties of the flowing platelets, such as the flipping motion. Using this multiscale particle-based approach, we have further studied the effects of the platelet elastic modulus by comparing the action of the flow-induced shear stresses on rigid and deformable platelet models. The results indicate that neglecting the platelet deformability may overestimate the stress on the platelet membrane, which in turn may lead to erroneous predictions of the platelet activation under viscous shear flow conditions. This particle-based fluid–structure interaction multiscale model offers for the first time a computationally feasible approach for simulating deformable platelets interacting with viscous blood flow, aimed at predicting flow induced platelet activation by using a highly resolved mapping of the stress distribution on the platelet membrane under dynamic flow conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)552-574
Number of pages23
JournalCellular and Molecular Bioengineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2014


  • Dissipative particle dynamics
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Multiscale simulations
  • Platelets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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