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Mechanics of the brain: perspectives, challenges, and opportunities.

Goriely A, Geers MG, Holzapfel GA, Jayamohan J, Jérusalem A, Sivaloganathan S, Squier W, van Dommelen JA, Waters S, Kuhl E - Biomech Model Mechanobiol (2015)

Bottom Line: Despite a clear evidence that mechanical factors play an important role in regulating brain activity, current research efforts focus mainly on the biochemical or electrophysiological activity of the brain.This opinion piece synthesizes expertise in applied mathematics, solid and fluid mechanics, biomechanics, experimentation, material sciences, neuropathology, and neurosurgery to address today's open questions at the forefront of neuromechanics.The multi-disciplinary analysis of these various phenomena and pathologies presents new opportunities and suggests that mechanical modeling is a central tool to bridge the scales by synthesizing information from the molecular via the cellular and tissue all the way to the organ level.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX2 6GG, UK, Alain.Goriely@maths.ox.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT
The human brain is the continuous subject of extensive investigation aimed at understanding its behavior and function. Despite a clear evidence that mechanical factors play an important role in regulating brain activity, current research efforts focus mainly on the biochemical or electrophysiological activity of the brain. Here, we show that classical mechanical concepts including deformations, stretch, strain, strain rate, pressure, and stress play a crucial role in modulating both brain form and brain function. This opinion piece synthesizes expertise in applied mathematics, solid and fluid mechanics, biomechanics, experimentation, material sciences, neuropathology, and neurosurgery to address today's open questions at the forefront of neuromechanics. We critically review the current literature and discuss challenges related to neurodevelopment, cerebral edema, lissencephaly, polymicrogyria, hydrocephaly, craniectomy, spinal cord injury, tumor growth, traumatic brain injury, and shaken baby syndrome. The multi-disciplinary analysis of these various phenomena and pathologies presents new opportunities and suggests that mechanical modeling is a central tool to bridge the scales by synthesizing information from the molecular via the cellular and tissue all the way to the organ level.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Computational modeling of brain surface morphology. Keeping the thickness of the cortical layer constant, we observe that larger brains tend to be more folded. Indeed, as the radius-to-thickness ratio increases from , top, to , bottom, the brain surface becomes more convoluted as time evolves from  to
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Fig11: Computational modeling of brain surface morphology. Keeping the thickness of the cortical layer constant, we observe that larger brains tend to be more folded. Indeed, as the radius-to-thickness ratio increases from , top, to , bottom, the brain surface becomes more convoluted as time evolves from to

Mentions: Figure 11 illustrates a computational simulation of gyrification for varying radius-to-thickness ratios. The idealized ellipsoidal brain model predicts the gradual formation of gyri and sulci. Folding is initiated first along the long axis of the ellipsoid where the curvature of the ellipsoid is lowest (Budday et al. 2015c). As time evolves, folding gradually propagates outward. Once the folding pattern has formed, gyri and sulci grow deeper until they begin to form contact. Computational modeling not only confirms our analytical estimates, but also predicts the formation of complex surface morphologies with asymmetric patterns and secondary folds. The simulation explains the observation that larger brains are more folded than smaller brains: As the brain size increases, the surface becomes more convoluted. The model also explains why lissencephalic brains with an increased cortical thickness have a smooth surface with a small number of large folds and why polymicrogyric brains with an increased surface area have a large number of small folds. Thickening of the leptomeninges overlying the malformed cortex is seen in 80 % of cases. This may impose physical constraints on the developing cortex, forcing it to undergo increased folding in order to be accommodated in an area where expansion is limited by the rigidity of the overlying leptomeninges (Squier and Jansen 2014).Fig. 11


Mechanics of the brain: perspectives, challenges, and opportunities.

Goriely A, Geers MG, Holzapfel GA, Jayamohan J, Jérusalem A, Sivaloganathan S, Squier W, van Dommelen JA, Waters S, Kuhl E - Biomech Model Mechanobiol (2015)

Computational modeling of brain surface morphology. Keeping the thickness of the cortical layer constant, we observe that larger brains tend to be more folded. Indeed, as the radius-to-thickness ratio increases from , top, to , bottom, the brain surface becomes more convoluted as time evolves from  to
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4562999&req=5

Fig11: Computational modeling of brain surface morphology. Keeping the thickness of the cortical layer constant, we observe that larger brains tend to be more folded. Indeed, as the radius-to-thickness ratio increases from , top, to , bottom, the brain surface becomes more convoluted as time evolves from to
Mentions: Figure 11 illustrates a computational simulation of gyrification for varying radius-to-thickness ratios. The idealized ellipsoidal brain model predicts the gradual formation of gyri and sulci. Folding is initiated first along the long axis of the ellipsoid where the curvature of the ellipsoid is lowest (Budday et al. 2015c). As time evolves, folding gradually propagates outward. Once the folding pattern has formed, gyri and sulci grow deeper until they begin to form contact. Computational modeling not only confirms our analytical estimates, but also predicts the formation of complex surface morphologies with asymmetric patterns and secondary folds. The simulation explains the observation that larger brains are more folded than smaller brains: As the brain size increases, the surface becomes more convoluted. The model also explains why lissencephalic brains with an increased cortical thickness have a smooth surface with a small number of large folds and why polymicrogyric brains with an increased surface area have a large number of small folds. Thickening of the leptomeninges overlying the malformed cortex is seen in 80 % of cases. This may impose physical constraints on the developing cortex, forcing it to undergo increased folding in order to be accommodated in an area where expansion is limited by the rigidity of the overlying leptomeninges (Squier and Jansen 2014).Fig. 11

Bottom Line: Despite a clear evidence that mechanical factors play an important role in regulating brain activity, current research efforts focus mainly on the biochemical or electrophysiological activity of the brain.This opinion piece synthesizes expertise in applied mathematics, solid and fluid mechanics, biomechanics, experimentation, material sciences, neuropathology, and neurosurgery to address today's open questions at the forefront of neuromechanics.The multi-disciplinary analysis of these various phenomena and pathologies presents new opportunities and suggests that mechanical modeling is a central tool to bridge the scales by synthesizing information from the molecular via the cellular and tissue all the way to the organ level.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX2 6GG, UK, Alain.Goriely@maths.ox.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT
The human brain is the continuous subject of extensive investigation aimed at understanding its behavior and function. Despite a clear evidence that mechanical factors play an important role in regulating brain activity, current research efforts focus mainly on the biochemical or electrophysiological activity of the brain. Here, we show that classical mechanical concepts including deformations, stretch, strain, strain rate, pressure, and stress play a crucial role in modulating both brain form and brain function. This opinion piece synthesizes expertise in applied mathematics, solid and fluid mechanics, biomechanics, experimentation, material sciences, neuropathology, and neurosurgery to address today's open questions at the forefront of neuromechanics. We critically review the current literature and discuss challenges related to neurodevelopment, cerebral edema, lissencephaly, polymicrogyria, hydrocephaly, craniectomy, spinal cord injury, tumor growth, traumatic brain injury, and shaken baby syndrome. The multi-disciplinary analysis of these various phenomena and pathologies presents new opportunities and suggests that mechanical modeling is a central tool to bridge the scales by synthesizing information from the molecular via the cellular and tissue all the way to the organ level.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus