The lymphatic system performs many crucial functions in health, gathering approximately 4 liters/day of interstitial fluid and returning it to the venous system. As this fluid is filtered, undesirable elements such as tumor cells and foreign pathogens are normally destroyed in lymph nodes. This system is also part of the primary transport mechanism for the immune system. Lymphedema, a debilitating disease for which there is no known cure, affects a large number of cancer patients who have undergone lymph node dissection as well as trauma victims. The lymphatic system is also the major transport route for metastases of the most deadly cancers. Understanding and modeling the transport of lymph remains a challenge. Much of the pumping work comes from the contraction of lymphatic vessel smooth muscle, with valves preventing backflow. We propose to develop a multi-scale network model of the lymphatic circulation based on a combination of physical laws, material descriptions, and models of active cellular processes. Goals of this iterative model development process are to gain a better understanding of normal lymphatic function as well as multiple diseases.

Public Health Relevance

Narrative The lymphatic system is directly involved in Lymhedema, an incurable condition that affects a large percentage of cancer patients who have undergone surgery. It is also involved in the spread of cancer, serving as the principal route of distribution for cancer metastases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BST-E (51))
Program Officer
Larkin, Jennie E
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Texas Engineering Experiment Station
Biomedical Engineering
Schools of Engineering
College Station
United States
Zip Code
Bertram, C D; Macaskill, C; Davis, M J et al. (2014) Development of a model of a multi-lymphangion lymphatic vessel incorporating realistic and measured parameter values. Biomech Model Mechanobiol 13:401-16
Chatterjee, Victor; Gashev, Anatoliy A (2014) Mast cell-directed recruitment of MHC class II positive cells and eosinophils towards mesenteric lymphatic vessels in adulthood and elderly. Lymphat Res Biol 12:37-47
Maejima, Daisuke; Nagai, Takashi; Bridenbaugh, Eric A et al. (2014) The position- and lymphatic lumen-controlled tissue chambers to study live lymphatic vessels and surrounding tissues ex vivo. Lymphat Res Biol 12:150-6
Gashev, Anatoliy A; Chatterjee, Victor (2013) Aged lymphatic contractility: recent answers and new questions. Lymphat Res Biol 11:2-13
Bridenbaugh, Eric A; Wang, Wei; Srimushnam, Maya et al. (2013) An immunological fingerprint differentiates muscular lymphatics from arteries and veins. Lymphat Res Biol 11:155-71
Bridenbaugh, Eric A; Nizamutdinova, Irina Tsoy; Jupiter, Daniel et al. (2013) Lymphatic muscle cells in rat mesenteric lymphatic vessels of various ages. Lymphat Res Biol 11:35-42
Gashev, Anatoliy A; Zhang, Rong-Zhen; Muthuchamy, Mariappan et al. (2012) Regional heterogeneity of length-tension relationships in rat lymph vessels. Lymphat Res Biol 10:14-9
Thangaswamy, Sangeetha; Bridenbaugh, Eric A; Gashev, Anatoliy A (2012) Evidence of increased oxidative stress in aged mesenteric lymphatic vessels. Lymphat Res Biol 10:53-62
Akl, Tony J; Nagai, Takashi; Cote, Gerard L et al. (2011) Mesenteric lymph flow in adult and aged rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 301:H1828-40
Davis, Michael J; Rahbar, Elaheh; Gashev, Anatoliy A et al. (2011) Determinants of valve gating in collecting lymphatic vessels from rat mesentery. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 301:H48-60

Showing the most recent 10 out of 14 publications