Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Computed Sinusoid

Version 1 : Received: 29 August 2023 / Approved: 30 August 2023 / Online: 31 August 2023 (03:49:17 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Boninsegna, M.; McCourt, P.A.G.; Holte, C.F. The Computed Sinusoid. Livers 2023, 3, 657-673. Boninsegna, M.; McCourt, P.A.G.; Holte, C.F. The Computed Sinusoid. Livers 2023, 3, 657-673.


The hepatic sinusoids are lined by thin endothelium containing transcellular pores dubbed fenestra. These fenestrations are completely open channels connecting the sinusoidal lumen to the underlying Space of Disse (SoD) and the hepatocytes of the liver parenchyma. The fenestrations are in the size range 0.05-0.35µm in diameter and cover between 5-15% of the sinusoidal endothelial surface area depending on their location along the sinusoids. Motivation/Research Question: So far, the narrowness of the sinusoids prevented the direct measurement of hemodynamic features such as sinusoidal pressure and flow velocity. A better understanding of these parameters might help in better understanding the physiology of the hepatic niche and possible implications in liver diseases. Few simulations of liver blood flow focus on the level of the individual sinusoid, fewer still include the transcellular pores (fenestrations) of the sinusoidal endothelium, and none have included i) a porosity gradient along the sinusoid wall modelled with through-all pores rather than a porus medium, ii) the presence of the Space of Disse, iii) lymphatic drainage. Model: Computed fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations performed using a numerical model with relevant anatomical characteristics (length, diameter, porous size and porosity). Boundary conditions included physiological/pathological values of inlet/outlet pressure and lymphatic outflow from the portal region of the SoD. Results: The pressure and flow velocity of the sinusoidal lumen was entirely dependent on the shape, i.e. constant versus divergent radius and not dependent on porosity in the sinusoidal wall. The velocity through the space of Disse (SoD) was affected by the addition of lymphatic drainage and increases in porosity in the pericentral area of the model. Variations in porosity also affected flow velocity through the fenestrations. Conclusions: The flow velocity in the SoD was modified by differences in porosity, while the flow velocity in the lumen of the sinusoids was unaffected, even by the absence of fenestrations. The overall shape of the vessel is the singular most important factor in the pressure flow behavior of the sinusoidal lumen. The flow rate over the hepatocytes is the flow rate through the SoD, and is modestly affected by the distribution of porosity along the sinusoid, and by the addition of a lymphatic drainage, this parameter would be of interest for modelling blood exchange with the hepatic parenchyma, especially if accounting for zonation.


liver sinusoid; fenestrations; fenestrae; liver haemodynamic; CFD; liver fluid dynamic model; computational liver model


Biology and Life Sciences, Other

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