A phenomenological particle-based platelet model for simulating filopodia formation during early activation

Seetha Pothapragada, Peng Zhang, Jawaad Sheriff, Mark Livelli, Marvin J. Slepian, Yuefan Deng, Danny Bluestein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We developed a phenomenological three-dimensional platelet model to characterize the filopodia formation observed during early stage platelet activation. Departing from continuum mechanics based approaches, this coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CGMD) particle-based model can deform to emulate the complex shape change and filopodia formation that platelets undergo during activation. The platelet peripheral zone is modeled with a two-layer homogeneous elastic structure represented by spring-connected particles. The structural zone is represented by a cytoskeletal assembly comprising of a filamentous core and filament bundles supporting the platelet's discoid shape, also modeled by spring-connected particles. The interior organelle zone is modeled by homogeneous cytoplasm particles that facilitate the platelet deformation. Nonbonded interactions among the discrete particles of the membrane, the cytoskeletal assembly, and the cytoplasm are described using the Lennard-Jones potential with empirical constants. By exploring the parameter space of this CGMD model, we have successfully simulated the dynamics of varied filopodia formations. Comparative analyses of length and thickness of filopodia show that our numerical simulations are in agreement with experimental measurements of flow-induced activated platelets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e02702
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Coarse-grained molecular dynamics
  • Parallel computing
  • Platelet activation
  • Platelet structure
  • Shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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