A mathematical model for magnetically-assisted delivery of thrombolytics in occluded blood vessels for ischemic stroke treatment
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Currently, the most popular method of ischemic stroke treatment is intravenous administration of thrombolytics like alteplase. Once administered, the rate of thrombolytic delivery to a clot in a fully occluded vessel is limited by the slow process of diffusion. This is problematic as increased duration of the hypoxic state due to a thrombus or embolus increases the likelihood of severe disability and death. The transport of the drug could be improved by inducing fluid flow within the blocked vessel. This could be accomplished by utilizing a methodology invented by Pulse Therapeutics. Ferroparticles are administered along with the thrombolytic, and a rotating magnetic field with a gradient is applied to the affected region of the stroke victim’s brain. The presence of the magnetic field causes the ferroparticles to aggregate. Its rotation causes the aggregates to rotate, and its gradient causes the rotating aggregates to produce a net unidirectional flow within the blocked vessel. A general analytical model describing this process is developed to assist prediction of the qualitative effect of changing various system parameters like the magnetic field strength or rotation rate. Increasingly complex two-dimensional models are developed and computationally analyzed to quantitatively predict the resulting velocity profile in a blocked vessel. Computational analyses were also performed to simulate the diffusion-limited and magnetically-enhanced transport of thrombolytics. As anticipated, utilizing the rotating magnetic field with a gradient significantly improves transport in a blocked vessel.