Possible role of differential growth in airway wall remodeling in asthma

D. E. Moulton, A. Goriely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Possible role of differential growth in airway wall remodeling in asthma. J Appl Physiol 110: 1003-1012, 2011. First published January 20, 2011; doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00991.2010.- Airway remodeling in patients with chronic asthma is characterized by a thickening of the airway walls. It has been demonstrated in previous theoretical models that this change in thickness can have an important mechanical effect on the properties of the wall, in particular on the phenomenon of mucosal folding induced by smooth muscle contraction. In this paper, we present a model for mucosal folding of the airway in the context of growth. The airway is modeled as a bilayered cylindrical tube, with both geometric and material nonlinearities accounted for via the theory of finite elasticity. Growth is incorporated into the model through the theory of morphoelasticity. We explore a range of growth possibilities, allowing for anisotropic growth as well as different growth rates in each layer. Such nonuniform growth, referred to as differential growth, can change the properties of the material beyond geometrical changes through the generation of residual stresses. We demonstrate that differential growth can have a dramatic impact on mucosal folding, in particular on the critical pressure needed to induce folding, the buckling pattern, as well as airway narrowing. We conclude that growth may be an important component in airway remodeling. Copyright © 2011 the American Physiological Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1003-1012
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 21 2011
Externally publishedYes


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