Stability analysis using an energy estimate approach of a reaction-diffusion model of
L.R. Ritter - Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, GA 30060-2896, United States (email)
Abstract: This paper considers modeling the initiation of atherosclerosis, as an inflammatory instability. Motivated by the disease paradigm articulated by Russell Ross, atherogenesis is viewed as an inflammatory spiral with positive feedback loop involving key cellular and chemical species interacting and reacting within the intimal layer of muscular arteries. The inflammation is modeled through a system of nonlinear reaction/diffusion/convection partial differential equations. The inflammatory spiral is initiated as an instability from a healthy state which is defined to be an equilib- rium state devoid of certain key inflammatory markers. Disease initiation is studied through a linear, asymptotic stability analysis of a healthy equilibrium state. Conditions on system parameters guaranteeing stability of the health state and conditions on system parameters leading to instability are given. Among the questions addressed in the analysis is the possible mitigating effect of anti-oxidants upon transition to the inflammatory spiral.
Keywords: atherosclerosis, atherogenesis, chemotaxis, stability analysis, energy estimate
Received: June 2008; Revised: July 2009; Published: September 2009.