Brown University School of Engineering

Joint Materials/Solid Mechanics Seminar Series “Connectome Neurotrauma Mechanics: Combining the Finite Element Method with Structural Network-based Analysis for Modeling Individual Specific Neurotrauma”

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Monday, November 05, 2012 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Joint Materials/Solid Mechanics Seminar Series “Connectome Neurotrauma Mechanics: Combining the Finite Element Method with Structural Network-based Analysis for Modeling Individual Specific Neurotrauma” Reuben Kraft, Ph.D. Applied Physics Laboratory The Johns Hopkins University Abstract: This talk presents a computational model that attempts to capture spatiotemporal characteristics of neurotrauma. The goal of the model was to assess integration of human head and neck biomechanics, cellular injury thresholds, and graph theoretical analysis of neuronal connections. Localized mechanical brain damage predicted from biofidelic finite element simulations of the human head subjected to impact and blast explosions are related to degradation in the structural brain network for a single individual. The finite element model incorporates various length scales into the full head simulations by including anisotropic constitutive laws informed by diffusion tensor imaging. Then, local strain and strain rates of finite elements are used to inform empirical cellular injury thresholds obtained from previous experimental work. Axonal cellular death is computed and related to edges of the corresponding structural network or connectome. In terms of network analysis, this method is novel because the network edges are degraded from a physics-based assessment of the underlying white matter disruption, as opposed to network node deletion on an ad hoc basis. The last part of the talk will also propose a method by which the structural information might inform functional networks to form a time-evolving structure-function model for neurotrauma and neurodegenerative disease. Monday, November 5, 2012 4:00-5:00 pm B&H Room 190