Bifurcation and dynamics in a mathematical model of early atherosclerosis: How acute inflammation drives lesion development

Alexander D. Chalmers, Anna Cohen, Christina A. Bursill, Mary R. Myerscough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


We present here a mathematical model describing the primary mechanisms that drive the early stages of atherosclerosis. This involves the interactions between modified low density lipoprotein (LDL), monocytes/macrophages, cytokines and foam cells. This model suggests that there is an initial inflammatory phase associated with atherosclerotic lesion development and a longer, quasi-static process of plaque development inside the arterial wall that follows the initial transient. We will show results that show how different LDL concentrations in the blood stream and different immune responses can affect the development of a plaque. Through numerical bifurcation analysis, we show the existence of a fold bifurcation when the flux of LDL from the blood is sufficiently high. By analysing the model presented in this paper, we gain a greater insight into this inflammatory response qualitatively and quantitatively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1451-1480
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Mathematical Biology
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Bifurcation
  • Inflammation
  • PDE model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics

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