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COMUNEM Résumé de rapport

Project ID: 306587
Financé au titre de: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Pays: United Kingdom

Mid-Term Report Summary - COMUNEM (Computational Multiscale Neuron Mechanics)

COMUNEM is a thorough and comprehensive numerical programme focused on neurons and aimed at bridging scales from proteins to the cell scale while including its interaction with its surrounding media/stimulus. This involves the development of a neuron model constituted of length-scale dedicated numerical techniques, mutually informed and calibrated. More precisely, the project is targeting two pilot problems: a) neuronal electrophysiological alteration following a mechanical insult, and b) axonal growth. The validation step is accomplished by use of a multiphysics experimental setup aimed at testing the relevant properties of individual neurons for model correlation. Upon completion of the project, this multiscale computational framework will be made available to the bioengineering and medical communities to enhance their knowledge on neuron deformation, growth, electro-signaling and thus, on slowly evolving damaging diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy), as well as more direct damages such as traumatic brain injuries.

At mid-period, the project has already led to four major publications and one software release at the cell scale: Neurite. The main results are the following:
- Molecular Dynamics simulations of protein scale high-rate deformation events have been successfully conducted,
- New multiscale methods have been developed to correlate the resulting protein deformation information to continuum scale quantities (stress and strain),
- Neurite has been successfully developed, calibrated and validated to simulate the electrophysiological alterations due to mechanical damage in individual axons,
- A study of growth cone advance and axonal growth has been achieved analytically and numerically, precisely defining the three possible events of axonal evolution: collapse to the soma, static and extending at a finite velocity,
- In parallel to these numerical efforts, the multiphysics experimental setup for simultaneous measurements of mechanical and electrophysiological properties has been developed and is now ready for production.

* J.A. García Grajales, G. Rucabado, A. García-Dopico, J.M. Peña and A. Jérusalem. Neurite, a finite difference large scale parallel program for the simulation of electrical signal propagation in neurites under mechanical loading. PLoS ONE, 10(2):e0116532, 2015. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0116532, open access
* A. Goriely, J.A.W. van Dommelen, M.G.D. Geers, G.A. Holzapfel, J. Jayamohan, A. Jérusalem, S. Sivaloganathan, W. Squier, S. Waters and E. Kuhl. Mechanics of the brain: perspectives, challenges and opportunities. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, Review Article, 14(5):931-965, 2015. DOI:10.1007/s10237-015-0662-4, open access
* L. Zhang, J. Jasa, G. Gazonas, A. Jérusalem and M. Negahban. Extracting continuum-like deformation and stress from Molecular Dynamics simulations. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 283:1010-1031, 2015. DOI:10.1016/j.cma.2014.10.018
* A. Jérusalem, J.A. García, A. Merchán-Pérez and J.M. Peña. A computational model coupling mechanics and electrophysiology in spinal cord injury. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 13:883-896, 2014. DOI:10.1007/s10237-013-0543-7
* Neurite software:

Reported by

United Kingdom