Excessive migration and proliferation of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) has been observed as a major factor contributing to the development of in-stent restenosis after coronary stenting. Building upon the results from in vivo experiments, we formulated a hypothesis that the speed of the initial tissue re-growth response is determined by the early migration of SMCs from the injured intima. To test this hypothesis, a cellular Potts model of the stented artery is developed where stent struts were deployed at different depths into the tissue. An extreme scenario with a ruptured internal elastic lamina was also considered to study the role of severe injury in tissue re-growth. Based on the outcomes, we hypothesize that a deeper stent deployment results in on average larger fenestrae in the elas- tic lamina, allowing easier migration of SMCs into the lumen. The data also suggest that growth of the neointimal lesions owing to SMC proliferation is strongly dependent on the initial number of migrated cells, which form an initial condition for the later phase of the vascular repair. This mechanism could explain the in vivo observation that the initial rate of neointima formation and injury score are strongly correlated.
Journal of the Royal Society Interface
Reconstructing the interactions between cells and extracellular matrix during angiogenesis
Evolutionary Intelligence

Tahir, H., Niculescu, I., Bona-Casa, C., Merks, R., & Hoekstra, A. (2015). An in silico study on the role of smooth muscle cell migration in neointimal formation after coronary stenting. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 12(108), 20150358. . Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 12(108). doi:10.1136/jcp.2005.025742