Targeted drug delivery is a promising technique to direct the drug to the specific diseased region. Nanoparticles have provided an attractive approach for this purpose. In practice, the major focus of targeted delivery has been on targeting cell receptors. However, the complex fluid mechanics in diseased biomedical flows questions if a sufficient number of nanoparticles can reach the desired region. In this paper, we propose that hidden topological structures in cardiovascular flows identified with Lagrangian coherent structures (LCS) control drug transport and provide valuable information for optimizing targeted drug delivery efficiency. We couple image-based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with continuum transport models to study nanoparticle transport in coronary artery disease. We simulate nanoparticle transport as well as the recently proposed shear targeted drug delivery system that couples micro-carriers with nanoparticle drugs. The role of the LCS formed near the stenosed artery in controlling drug transport is discussed. Our results motivate the design of smart micro-needles guided by flow topology, which could achieve optimal drug delivery efficiency.
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