B01: In silico modelling of spinal cord regeneration

B01 aims to establish a continuum-based computational framework to predict the regeneration of spinal cord tissue after injury or disease. The computational model will capture the temporal and spatial evolution of growth, remodelling and healing processes, as experimentally observed in B02-B05. We will specifically focus on mechanics-driven processes that are involved in the regeneration of the spinal cord after traumatic injury and in multiple sclerosis. We will capture the evolving connectivity of cells in the central nervous system by continuous order parameters driven by mechanics and biochemical factors. To calibrate the constitutive models, we will exploit mechanical tests on human and animal spinal cord tissue performed in B01-B05. Modelling in B01 will help correlating the comprehensive set of ex vivo and in vivo mechanical data, data from various species, and multiple measurement techniques within EBM. B01 will in particular enter into a close feedback loop with B03, which provides data on in vivo tissue mechanics based on Brillouin microscopy (BM) measurements and ex vivo tissue mechanics based on atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements and correlated structural and compositional information. B01 will in turn provide information about mechanical determinants identified through modelling and simulation. B01 will furthermore provide testable hypotheses for targeted experiments in B03 and the associated results will be directly fed back into our computational framework.


Project leaders: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Paul Steinmann, Dr.-Ing. Silvia Budday

Positions: 2 doctoral researchers