The Brain In Silico
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Intracranial dynamics describes the interactions of blood flow, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and deformable brain tissue. While the physical properties of cranial fluids and brain porosity are known, no comprehensive mathematical model currently exists to describe the pulsating vasculature in the brain or the CSF flow these pulsations induce. Quantification of force interactions between blood, CSF, and the brain is necessary to understand normal dynamics as well as pathological conditions affecting the human brain. The black and white image on the left is a magnetic resonance image sequenced at the mid sagittal plane of a human brain. With MRI, we obtain CSF velocity and flow rates throughout the cardiac cycle but are unable to resolve more complex datum such as brain tissue stress and volumetric strain. The image on the right is a three-dimensional computational model of the same brain seen on the left. Our model, constructed using advanced medical imaging and engineering tools, predicts brain deformation in response to pulsating brain vasculature—an important step in understanding idiopathic diseases of the central nervous system.