LIFE2MATH: A MATHEMATICAL SHUTTLE FROM MOLECULES TO NEURONS TO FUNCTIONS AND BACK

Dipartimento di Matematica - Politecnico di Milano

November 14, 2016 – November 18, 2016


Room: Aula F. Saleri
Campus Milano Leonardo
Building 14 - Nave - VI floor

 

 


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Introduction, Motivation and Aims

 

The PhD course LIFE2MATH: A MATHEMATICAL SHUTTLE FROM MOLECULES TO NEURONS TO FUNCTIONS AND BACK (shortly, LIFE2MATH) builds upon the following past initiatives activated at Politecnico di Milano (shortly, PoliMi):

  1. Workshop "Integrated Multidisciplinary Approaches in the Study and Care of the Human Eye", Dip. di Matematica Univ. degli Studi di Milano, Dip. di Matematica PoliMi: 26-27 June 2013,http://www.mat.unimi.it/retinaworkshop13/
  2. PhD Course: "Multiscale Modeling of Interface Phenomena in Biology",      Dip. di Matematica PoliMi: 17-21 March 2014
  3. PhD Course: "Multidisciplinary Approaches in the Study of Biological Fluids and Tissues: Mathematical Modeling and Clinical Experience", Dip.to di Matematica, PoliMi: 20-24 April 2015 (https://www.eko.polimi.it/index.php/EyePhD2015/EyePhD2015)
  4. The "International Congress of Advanced Technologies and Treatments for Glaucoma (ICATTG)", PoliMi: 29-31 October 2015. (http://www.glaucomacongress.com/ and http://www.glaucomacongress.com/downloads/ICATTG2015_Recap.pdf)

The principal aims of LIFE2MATH are:

 

A1: to disentangle the thread that connects the molecular level in the human body to the development of a nerve signal and its transduction into a specific life function, such as vision, thought, heartbeat and movement;

A2: to translate the result of aim A1 into a mathematical modeling set-up built upon systems of partial and/or ordinary differential equations (PDEs/ODEs) that express the conservation of relevant physical entities such as mass, momentum and energy of a fluid, or the total electrical current  of a nerve impulse;

A3: to numerically solve the PDEs/ODEs illustrated in aim A2 through appropriately selected methodologies that, besides being stable and accurate, are capable to reproduce at the discrete level the main conservation properties of the biophysical system under investigation;

A4: to provide participants a concrete view of the “big picture” analyzed in aims A1-A3 through the access and on-site visit to the Laboratory of Life Support Systems (Director: Prof. Maria L. Costantino) and the Mechanobiology Lab (Director and Founding Head: Prof. Manuela T. Raimondi), which are both part of the LaBS (Laboratory of Biological Structure Mechanics) at PoliMi.



Course Organization

 

The course belongs to the category “con docenza straniera” (foreign instructors for more than 15 lecture hours, of interest to more than one doctorate) and comprises a total number of 32 hours (5ECTs), divided into:

 

  1. 8 hours devoted to illustrating the biophysical and mathematical modeling of the molecular level, the development of a nerve signal, its transduction through the nerve fibers, the (conceptual) connection of biological signal processing with Micro and NanoElectronics and its role in the physiology of eye vision and brain function. This part of the course will be held by Prof. R.S. Eisenberg.

  2. 8 hours devoted to illustrating the biophysical and mathematical modeling of blood flow in the body vasculature system, with special emphasis on the microcirculation in the eye, the fluid-mechanical dynamic interaction between flow and arterial wall deformation, nutrient transport and delivery to the surrounding tissue and its (conceptual) connection with the Kirchhoff law of conservation of electrical current. This part of the course will be held by Prof. G. Guidoboni.

  3. 6 hours devoted to illustrating the numerical schemes used for temporal and spatial discretization of the models and their computer implementation. A number of examples will be thoroughly analyzed during hands-on sessions that will allow participants to verify the performance of the algorithms and interpret the biophysical reliability of the obtained results. This part of the course will be held by Dr. A.G. Mauri.

  4. 4 hours devoted to introductory lectures and on-site visit to the Laboratory of Life Support Systems (LLSS) and the Mechanobiology Lab (ML). This part of the course will be held by Prof. M.L. Costantino, Prof.M.T. Raimondi and Prof. C. Giordano.

  5. 2 hours devoted to a closing lecture addressing the principal open questions in the clinical applications for the study, treatment and cure of the diseases of the eye with particular emphasis on neurodegenerative pathologies such as the Open Angle Glaucoma. This part of the course will be held by Prof. A. Harris.

  6. 4 hours devoted to student assistance in the development of projects and to final evaluation. This part of the course will be held by course director and instructors.



Final Exam

 

To receive the credits for the LIFE2MATH Interdoctoral PhD Course, each student has to pass a final exam which will consist of writing a project report on a specific subject previously agreed with one of the instructors. In the preparation of the report, flexibility will be admitted in focusing on theoretical or on numerical issues, the combination of the two being strongly encouraged and welcome.



Accommodation

 


Conference Information