A free boundary problem for steady small plaques in the artery and their stability

Avner Friedman, Wenrui Hao, Bei Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide; it originates from a plaque which builds up in the artery. In this paper, we consider a simplified model of plaque growth involving LDL and HDL cholesterols, macrophages and foam cells, which satisfy a coupled system of PDEs with a free boundary, the interface between the plaque and the blood flow. We prove that there exist small radially symmetric stationary plaques and establish a sharp condition that ensures their stability. We also determine necessary and sufficient conditions under which a small initial plaque will shrink and disappear, or persist for all times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1227-1255
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Differential Equations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analysis
  • Applied Mathematics

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