A monolithic multiphase porous medium framework for (a-)vascular tumor growth

Johannes Kremheller, Anh Tu Vuong, Lena Yoshihara, Wolfgang A. Wall, Bernhard A. Schrefler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We present a dynamic vascular tumor model combining a multiphase porous medium framework for avascular tumor growth in a consistent Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian formulation and a novel approach to incorporate angiogenesis. The multiphase model is based on Thermodynamically Constrained Averaging Theory and comprises the extracellular matrix as a porous solid phase and three fluid phases: (living and necrotic) tumor cells, host cells and the interstitial fluid. Angiogenesis is modeled by treating the neovasculature as a proper additional phase with volume fraction or blood vessel density. This allows us to define consistent inter-phase exchange terms between the neovasculature and the interstitial fluid. As a consequence, transcapillary leakage and lymphatic drainage can be modeled. By including these important processes we are able to reproduce the increased interstitial pressure in tumors which is a crucial factor in drug delivery and, thus, therapeutic outcome. Different coupling schemes to solve the resulting five-phase problem are realized and compared with respect to robustness and computational efficiency. We find that a fully monolithic approach is superior to both the standard partitioned and a hybrid monolithic-partitioned scheme for a wide range of parameters. The flexible implementation of the novel model makes further extensions (e.g., inclusion of additional phases and species) straightforward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-683
Number of pages27
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Angiogenesis
  • Monolithic coupling
  • Multiphase flow
  • Porous media
  • Tumor growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computer Science Applications


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