Department of


Seminar Calendar
for Mathematical Biology events the next 12 months of Sunday, January 1, 2017.

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More information on this calendar program is available.
Questions regarding events or the calendar should be directed to Tori Corkery.
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

1:00 pm in 347 Altgeld Hall,Thursday, March 16, 2017

Biological Fluid Mechanics in Reproduction and Development

Dave Smith (School of Mathematics, University of Birmingham)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

1:00 pm in 347 Altgeld Hall,Thursday, April 20, 2017

The eye as a window on the body: mathematical modeling of ocular biomechanics, fluid-dynamics and oxygenation

Giovanna Guidoboni

Abstract: The eye is the only place in the human body where blood flow and systemic vascular features can be observed and measured easily and non-invasively down to the capillary level. Numerous clinical studies have shown correlations between alterations in ocular blood flow and ocular diseases (e.g. glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy), neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimerís disease, Parkinsonís disease) and other systemic diseases (e.g. hypertension, diabetes). Thus, deciphering the mechanisms governing ocular blood flow could be the key to the use of eye examinations as a non-invasive approach to the diagnosis and continuous monitoring for many patients. However, many factors influence ocular hemodynamics, including intraocular pressure (IOP), blood pressure and blood flow autoregulation, and it is extremely challenging to single out their individual contributions during clinical and animal studies. In the recent years, we have been developing mathematical models and computational methods to aid the interpretation of clinical data. In this talk, we will present models describing (i) the blood flow in the ocular macro- and micro-vasculature, accounting for the IOP-induced deformation of the vessel walls; (ii) the regulation of blood flow in the retina, accounting for the myogenic, shear-stress, carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) responses, as well as the role of nitric oxide (NO) in mediating neural signals to the vessel walls; (iii) O2 transport, diffusion and consumption in the retinal vasculature and tissue. Results will show how the synergy between mathematical modeling and clinical data allowed us to estimate the relative contribution of IOP, blood pressure and blood flow autoregulation on ocular tissue perfusion and vessel mechanics, and to distinguish disease mechanisms in different subgroups of glaucoma patients. Current efforts in translating this multiscale/multiphysics modeling methods into clinical resources to be used for individualized approaches to disease diagnosis and treatment will also be discussed.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

1:00 pm in 347 Altgeld Hall,Thursday, October 5, 2017

Sensing with Whiskers: From Geometry and Mechanics to the Statistics of the Array

Hayley Belli (Northwestern University)

Abstract: The rodent whisker system is a widely used model to study the sense of touch. Its neuroanatomy parallels that of the human, but its mechanics are vastly simplified compared to that of the human tactile system. Just like other modalities with complex sensor accessory structures, the geometry, mechanics, and material properties of the whiskers will highly affect the data a rat can acquire through these sensors. In the present work, we provide a detailed characterization of the geometry and mechanics of the whisker at both the level of individual whiskers, as well as the morphology of the entire whisker array. We perform a meta-analysis of seven studies, with over 500 rat whiskers, to show key relationships between geometric and mechanical parameters of individual whiskers. We also improve our existing model of the rat whisker array by developing normalized parameters that are applicable to whiskered species regardless of the number and arrangement of whiskers. Using these normalized parameters, we quantify the whisker arrays of the rat, mouse, and harbor seal, and draw comparisons between the three species.